MANILA - The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday released a new alert classification system to identify the severity of COVID-19 incidence in different parts of the Philippines.
"Kaya po kami naglagay ng alert levels kasi we are in a crisis," Health spokesperson Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online press conference.
(We placed alert levels because we are in a crisis.)
"These will give us triggers kung ano ang kailangan natin gawin at ano 'yung flagged areas natin," she said.
(These will give us triggers on what needs to be done and which areas have to be flagged.)
The DOH's 4-tier system is as follows:
ALERT LEVEL 4
- Dedicated hospital beds for COVID-19 patients are more than 70% occupied, regardless of Delta variant presence
ALERT LEVEL 3
- COVID-19 case count is high and increasing
- Health care utilization rate increasing
- Risk classification ranges from moderate to critical risk
- Hospital bed utilization rate is more than 70%, regardless of Delta variant presence
ALERT LEVEL 2
- COVID-19 cases are low and decreasing
- Health care utilization rate is low, but Delta variant is present in the area
- COVID-19 cases are decreasing but health care utilization rate is increasing
ALERT LEVEL 1
- COVID-19 case transmission is low and decreasing
- Health care utilization rate is low and less than 50%
- Delta variant is not present in the area
- Risk classification is minimal to low risk
- Area recorded a negative two-week growth rate
As of August 6, 2021, the following areas are placed under the highest alert level:
- Las Piñas
- Quezon City
- San Juan
- Baguio City
- Nueva Vizcaya
- Lucena City
- Cebu City
- Lapu-lapu City
- Mandaue City
- Cagayan de Oro City
Areas under alert level 4 are expected to "increase hospital beds, especially intensive care unit beds," the DOH said.
These areas are also advised to declare granular lockdowns and ensure oxygen needs are available and that active cases are immediately found and traced, the agency said.
The DOH's new alert classification system was bared shortly after the Philippines confirmed 331 Delta variant carriers in the country.