US deescalates Philippine health notice to Alert Level 2: DOH

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 01 2022 02:13 PM

Foreign nationals arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City on February 10, 2022, the first day the country reopened its borders to fully vaccinated international travelers. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
Foreign nationals arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City on February 10, 2022, the first day the country reopened its borders to fully vaccinated international travelers. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has lowered the Philippines to Alert Level 2 in its "travel health notice," the Department of Health said Friday.

The US CDC said the country had a "moderate level of COVID-19," which meant citizens are urged to get fully vaccinated before travel while the unvaccinated should avoid nonessential trips.

Nations under the US CDC's alert level 2 have recorded 50-99 new daily cases per 100,000 population in the past 28 days, according to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

The Philippines logged 2,553 cases or a daily average of 364 infections from March 24 to 30, Vergeire said.

"Paalala pa rin ng US CDC and DOH na kung di pa po tayo bakunado iwasan ang pagbiyahe patungo o pabalik sa Pilipinas dahil mataas pa rin ang tsansa na kayo ay magka-COVID-19," she told reporters.

(The US CDC and the DOH still remind the public that if you have yet to get vaccinated, avoid traveling to or from the Philippines because there's still a high chance that you can get infected with COVID-19.)

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Government has placed the capital region and 197 other areas under the lowest alert level, which allows full venue capacity, until April 15.

The remaining 57 areas that are under a higher alert level have yet to reach the required vaccination rate to ease their coronavirus curbs, Vergeire said.

"They are already qualified in terms of number of cases. Yung healthcare utilization, low risk lahat ng regional areas... Pero yung 1 metric na vaccination, dun po natin tinitingnan at pinagtatrabahuhan lahat," she said.

(In terms of healthcare utilization, all regional areas are 'low risk'... But when it comes to one metric, vaccination, that is what we are looking at and working on.)

"In terms of 57 areas na 'di pa na-deescalate, 'di pa po nila na-achieve ang target for vaccination, that's why we cannot still deescalate them to Alert Level 1."

(In terms of 57 areas yet to be deescalated, they have not yet achieved the target for vaccination, that's why we cannot still deescalate them to Alert Level 1.)

Vergeire earlier said the entire Philippines should be under Alert level 1 before a further deescalation could be implemented.