Albay solon urges IATF to downgrade province to Alert Level 1

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 29 2022 09:34 AM | Updated as of Mar 29 2022 09:41 AM

MANILA — Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda is urging the government's pandemic task force to relax restrictions in his province to COVID-19 Alert Level 1.

The lawmaker cited low health-care utilization rates and low COVID-19 case numbers in Albay. The province is under Alert Level 2 until March 31.

"Virtually for January, February and March, we've been having zero cases. But if you compare them to Alert Level 1 areas, they have been having more cases," he told ANC's "Rundown" Tuesday.

By downgrading coronavirus-related curbs, Salceda said it would spur economic recovery, which had been devastated by the pandemic.

For example, public transportation in areas under Alert Level 1 shall be at 100 percent capacity, he said.

Salceda said his proposal to the Inter-Agency Task Force was "science-based and data-driven".

Vaccination rates in Albay for ages 12 to 17 is 82 percent while 83 percent for those between 18 to 59, he said. Almost 80 percent of those 60 and over have already received the COVID-19 shot, he added.

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While he agreed with calls to ramp up booster doses, it is also important to fast-track economic recovery, Salceda said.

"I think there will be more deaths from malnutrition and from poverty than from COVID," he added.

Latest data from the Department of Health's COVID-19 tracker showed that Albay has logged 13,838 coronavirus cases since the pandemic began.

Of the figure, 13,323 have recovered, 345 have died while 170 are considered active cases.

The DOH COVID-19 tracker also showed that bed occupancy in Albay was at 6.1 percent.