MANILA - The Department of Health just raised the country's coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) alert system to Code Red, Sub-level 1 after the first case of a local transmission was confirmed.
But what does it mean?
In a press conference Saturday, Duque said Code Red, Sub-Level 1 is a "preemptive call to ensure national and local government and public and private healthcare providers can prepare for possible increase in suspected and confirmed cases."
Under the DOH system, Code Red means all hospital personnel are required to report for duty in their respective facilities to provide medical services.
In a letter to Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea dated Feb. 21, Duque said Code Red ensures that "all human and material resources must be made available for duty and deployment."
This alert level prompted Duque to recommend to Malacañang the declaration of a state of public health emergency “to facilitate the sufficient and immediate access to funding, particularly for local government units, and ease processes on procurement, mandatory reporting, mandatory quarantine, and travel restrictions, among others."
When does it rise to Sub-Level 2?
Duque said a shift to the higher Code Red level will only be done if there are established community transmissions and unlinked clusters of cases.
"It is premature to consider at this point," he said in a press briefing.
The Philippines currently has six confirmed cases of COVID-19.