MANILA — Coronavirus restrictions in Metro Manila could ease to its lowest level if COVID-19 infections continue to decline, the Department of Health said Tuesday.
The capital region's 13 million people shifted to Alert 2 from Alert 3 last week until Nov. 21, allowing more businesses to reopen and easing restrictions on going out.
Asked if Metro Manila's alert could lower further before the upcoming holidays, DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said, "Depende iyan. Titingnan natin ang numero, ang datos."
(That depends, we will look at the numbers, the data.)
"Kung ang datos ay patuloy namang bumababa… posible na kapag below 1,000 tayo or 500 [cases] per day, baka puwede nating ibaba pa ng Alert Level 1," he said in a televised public briefing.
(If the data continue to go down, it is possible that if we fall below 1,000 or 500 cases per day, we could go down to Alert Level 1.)
"Sino ba naman ang may ayaw na mas mababa ang ating alert level, e mas malaking bahagi naman ng ekonomiya ang ating mabubuksan at mas marami tayong mababawing trabaho na nawala," he added.
(Who does not want a lower alert level, that could reopen a bigger portion of our economy and recover more lost jobs.)
However, Duque expressed concern over social media photos of huge crowds at public areas following Metro Manila's shift to Alert 2.
"Siyempre nakakaalarma ito. Nangangamba ako dahil nga ‘pag iyong nagkukumpol-kumpulan, posibleng makakita na naman tayo ng pagsipa ng mga kaso at dapat po ito maiwasan natin," he said.
(Of course, this is alarming. I am worried because with crowding, we could see another spike in our cases, and we should prevent this.)
The health chief reminded the public to follow COVID-19 guidelines and get vaccinated.
The Philippine overall tally of coronavirus infections has crossed the 2.8-million mark. The country has fully vaccinated at least 29.8 of its 109 million people as of Monday.
Video courtesy of PTV