More areas under COVID-19 alert system? Recommendation out next week, says official

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 21 2021 09:12 AM | Updated as of Sep 21 2021 11:28 AM

Video courtesy of PTV

Authorities will recommend next week whether or not to expand the COVID-19 alert system to more areas, an official said on Monday. 

The 5-level alert system accompanied by granular lockdowns is in a pilot run in Metro Manila until Sept. 30 or next Thursday. Authorities hope it could better contain COVID-19 outbreaks and spur business activity.

"Nagtatanong na din ang ibang probinsiya at siyudad kung kailan ito ipatutupad sa kanilang lugar," said Interior Secretary Eduardo Año.

"Sa katapusan po ng buwan ay gagawa tayo ng assessment sa pamamagitan po ng IATF, at gagawa kami ng rekomendasyon sa ating Pangulo kung ito po ay dapat nang i-adopt sa buong bansa," he said in a taped meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte. 

(Other provinces and cities are asking when this will be implemented in their area. At the end of the month, we will make an assessment through the IATF, and we will make a recommendation to our President on whether this should be adopted in the whole country.)

The Alert Level 4 over Metro Manila has allowed outdoor dining at 30-percent capacity, while indoor dining is limited to small groups of fully immunized people. 

Religious gatherings and personal care services are allowed also at up to 30 percent of the capacity of the venue. 

Government has yet to receive negative reports from some 170 areas under granular lockdowns in the capital region, Malacañang spokesman Harry Roque said in a press briefing earlier Monday. 

The Philippines, which is fighting one of Asia's worst coronavirus outbreaks, has confirmed some 2.3 million coronavirus infections, including about 36,000 deaths overall.

Government aims to vaccinate up to 70 percent of the country's 109 million people before the year ends to achieve herd immunity and safely reopen the economy. 

At least 18.5 million people have been fully inoculated so far.