MANILA - The COVID-19 alert level in the National Capital Region will most likely be downgraded by October 16, an official of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said Tuesday.
Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III said this is because of the recent improvements in the region's COVID-19 situation, such as the decrease in new cases and the hospital utilization rates.
He told Teleradyo that the current ICU (intensive care unit) utilization rate is at 68 percent which is considered moderate. The COVID bed utilization is at 50 percent, and an average of 9,000 to 10,000 cases a day for the past 7 days compared to the 15,000 to 16,000 two weeks ago.
NCR also has a negative growth rate, he added.
"May basehan tayo sa pagbababa at 'yung basehan na 'yun ay nakikita na doon sa mga criteria o matrix nga na nabanggit mo para magbaba ng alert level," Densing said.
(We have a basis for the lowering of the alert level and that is based on the criteria for each alert level.)
Densing also said the government is looking at testing the COVID-19 alert level system in local government units outside Metro Manila.
"Namili na rin po kami ng mga lokal na gobyerno sa labas ng National Capital Region kung kailan masisimulan na rin 'yung alert level system," he said.
(We chose local government units outside NCR where we can pilot test the alert level system.)
Densing, however, clarified that it will be the Department of Health that will announce the final alert level in the coming days.
Metro Manila is currently under Alert Level 4 in the new five-level COVID-19 alert system.
The 5-tier new virus response strategy being piloted is based on the growth of COVID-19 cases in an area, as well the hospital and intensive care utilization rates.
The Philippines logged 8,615 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, raising the total to 2,683,372 cases so far.
This includes 39,896 deaths, 82,228 active cases, and 2,561,248 recoveries.