MANILA — Metro Manila has a "high chance" of shifting to a lower alert level this week as COVID-19 figures improved, Malacañang said on Monday.
Home to some 13 million people, the capital region is under alert 4 in a 5-step system until Friday. Paired with granular lockdowns, government hopes would the set-up would spur business activity while curbing infections.
"The data indicate that we are ready for a lower alert level... I would say it's a high chance of a lowering of alert level," said Palace spokesman Harry Roque.
Metro Manila's use of ICUs has gone down to moderate risk for first time in several months, he said in a press briefing.
The 2-week growth rate of COVID-19 in the region was at -46 percent, from -13 percent, Roque said. This refers to the percentage change in the number of new confirmed cases.
Meanwhile, the attack rate or the percentage of an at-risk population that contracts a disease has gone down to 18.31 between Sept. 27 and Oct. 10, from 33.98 from Sept. 13 to 26, he said.
"Meron pong datos na nagpapakita that we can lower the quarantine classification," said Roque. "But kasi nga po, ang eksperimento natin dito sa Metro Manila is a pilot, kinakailangan pag-aralan muna ang resulta ng pilot."
(There is data showing we can lower the quarantine classification. But since our experiment in Metro Manila is a pilot, the results should be studied first.)
The inter-agency task force on COVID-19 will discuss this on Thursday, he said.
"I would say po that the data support a reduction of the alert level, but that’s ultimately the decision of the IATF. Abangan na lang po natin (let us just wait for it)," he said.
The Philippines has confirmed 2.6 million total coronavirus cases, among the highest in Asia. The tally includes at least 39,624 deaths.