PH not yet ready for Alert Level 0: expert

Benise Balaoing, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 11 2022 08:32 AM

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MANILA – The Philippines is not yet ready for de-escalation to Alert Level 0, an infectious diseases expert said, as the government said it is looking into the possibility of further loosening the quarantine restrictions in the country.

“Well, not right now, not yet tomorrow, maybe not yet in the next few weeks,” said infectious diseases expert Dr. Cecilia Maramba Lazarte.

“Sabi nga ng WHO eh, no country should be left behind. And may mga countries na mataas pa rin ang kanilang mga cases ‘no ng COVID-19,” she said.

The Philippines has recorded declining number of COVID-19 cases after posting record numbers in January. 

Lazarte, however, noted that mobility has increased and air travel allowed with the lowering of coronavirus restrictions in the country. 

She noted that testing numbers are much lower, which means a probability that some COVID cases may not be detected. "So it is still out there,” she added.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Thursday said the country may further ease quarantine restrictions, noting that Metro Manila and the other areas under COVID-19 Alert Level 1 are doing "so far so good" as businesses return to full capacity.

He noted the country has tallied less than 1,000 COVID-19 cases daily for the last 6 days, and authorities hope this figure will go down to around 500.

The Philippines has so far fully immunized 63.99 million individuals, while 62.7 million have received an initial dose and 10.7 million have received their booster shots.

--TeleRadyo, 11 March 2022