NCR mayors yet to discuss Alert Level 0

Anjo Bagaoisan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 12 2022 10:15 PM

Commuters try to get a ride ABS-CBN News
Commuters try to get a ride on public transportation on Aurora Boulevard in Quezon City during the rush hour on Friday. Despite warnings from health authorities, the number of people on the road is almost back to normal after the country downgraded the health alert status to Level 1. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Mayors in Metro Manila have yet to discuss proposals to deescalate the capital region to Alert Level 0, the chairman of the Metro Manila Council (MMC) said Saturday.

Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez told reporters that he and his fellow mayors have held off on talks amid the identification of a new coronavirus variant.

“‘Yong ‘new normal’ ang pinag-uusapan natin. Pero until now, Alert Level 1 muna tayo until March 15. Pero wala pang pag-uusap, kasi nga may balita na naman tayo, itong tinatawag na deltacron, ‘yong dalawang variant na combination, so pinag-aaralan pa natin iyon,” Olivarez said. 

Asked for his own take on moving to Alert Level 0, Olivarez said the status quo might be best for now.

“Maintain alert level 1. Kasi based on data lagi tayo. Pero nakikita natin bumababa ang cases.” 

In Parañaque, he said, 5 out of 16 barangays have already registered zero COVID-19 cases. Meanwhile, there have only been 37 active cases among Parañaque’s nearly 1 million residents.

While some experts said NCR might be ripe for a pandemic exit, others still caution against further relaxing of restrictions due to various factors such as the 2022 election campaign period.

Olivarez, meanwhile, agreed that removal of mask mandates should happen last, especially with the reopening of full on-site work and face-to-face classes.

“Ang huling-huling aalisin dapat diyan ‘yong masks para totally ma-contain na natin itong pandemic na ito.” 

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