Medical community n ot comfortable if Alert Level 1 imposed, says health expert

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 23 2022 02:19 AM

Market-goers navigate the Marikina Public Market on February 20, 2022. Metro Manila mayors are scheduled to meet on the possible relaxation of restrictions to COVID-19 Alert level 1 starting March according to MMDA officer-in-charge Romando
Market-goers navigate the Marikina Public Market on February 20, 2022. Metro Manila mayors are scheduled to meet on the possible relaxation of restrictions to COVID-19 Alert level 1 starting March according to MMDA officer-in-charge Romando "Don" Artes as cases start to decline. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA—All sectors must be well prepared before government eases quarantine curbs in the National Capital Region, the president of the Philippine College of Physicians said.

According to Dr. Maricar Limpin, the idea of lowering the alert level status in NCR makes health workers uncomfortable.

"I don't think anyone from the health sector, magiging comfortable na marinig na magiging Alert Level 1 tayo," she told Teleradyo.

She added that all sectors should be prepared, including the education and transportation sectors, to ensure the safety of everyone.

"Bago tayo siguro mag-Alert Level 1 dapat kasi pinaghahandaan na natin 'yung pagbaba ng alert levels natin, ano? Meaning to say, talagang pine-prepare natin lahat — 'yung mga work places, pati 'yung mga eskwelahan, na sana ay siguraduhin natin na at least ay safe pa rin 'yung ating mga kababayan when they go out and start reporting sa trabaho nila, sa eskwelahan, para sa gayon ay hindi naman natin danasin ulit 'yung nakikita natin sa ibang bansa na nagkakaroon ulit ng surge," Limpin said.

(Before we implement Alert Level 1, it's better for us to prepare before restrictions are eased. Meaning, we should be well prepared — workplaces, schools, we have to ensure that everyone will stay safe as they go to work or to school so another surge doesn't happen.)

Under Alert Level 1, all businesses and public transportation will be allowed to operate at capacity. Intrazonal and inter-zonal travel will also be allowed, regardless of a person's age and comorbidity.

Since the physical distancing rule will also be lifted, Limpin said it is important to ensure proper ventilation at schools, workplaces, public transportation and all closed spaces.

"Kaya nga ang importante dito, 'yung preparation. Siguraduhin natin ang mga sasakyan maganda ang ventilation kasi mawawala 'yung physical distance eh. Kasi inalis mo 'yung isa doon sa 4 na dapat na sinusunod natin," she said, noting that the face mask requirement would remain.

(What's important here is proper ventilation in vehicles because you will be removing the physical distancing requirement, one of the 4 things that we should be following.)

"Ayaw na nating bumalik ulit na aakyat ulit ang kaso ng COVID-19 kasi the economy, really, hindi na kakayanin ang another lockdown."

(We don't want to experience another surge in COVID-19 cases because the economy really won't be able to survive another lockdown.)

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Metro Manila could deescalate to Alert Level 1 by March 1, independent research group OCTA earlier said as Metro Manila mayors meet to discuss the issue.

The capital region's positivity rate was at 4.9 percent, less than the 5 percent that the World Health Organization recommends.

The Philippines logged 1,019 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, the lowest daily tally so far this year, bringing the country's total to 3,654,284.

The number of fresh infections is the lowest since December 29, when 889 cases were announced, according to the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group.

It is the 4th straight day that the daily tally remained below 2,000 and the 4th consecutive day it broke the record for fewest new cases, the group said.

The country saw a surge in new infections beginning late December until January due to the omicron variant.

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