MANILA (UPDATED) – Placing Metro Manila under Alert Level 2 remains a possibility, the Department of Health said Monday, after the government recorded 308 new COVID-19 cases on June 12.
Of the fresh infections, 153 are from Metro Manila.
Health Undersecretary Dr. Maria Rosario Vergeire noted, however, that stricter quarantine restrictions will only be put in place if the increase in cases leads to a significant uptick in hospital admissions.
“The possibility would always be there, 'pag nagtuloy-tuloy po ang mga kaso. Pero ang kailangan pong maintindihan ng ating mga kababayan, we are learning to live with the virus. Alam po natin, hindi ho aalis ang virus na ito. It will stay with us. So eto pong mga sakit na nagkakaroon ng mild at asymptomatic, it should be acceptable po to the population,” she said.
(The possibility would always be there, if the cases increase. But our fellow countrymen must understand that we are learning to live with the virus. The virus won't go away, it will stay with us. So these mild and asymptomatic cases should be acceptable already to the population.)
“Ang pinaka-importante, hindi pa natin nakikitang tumataas ang severe and critical na mga kaso, at hindi pa rin po nagkakaroon ng problema sa ating mga ospital,” she added.
(What's important is that we don't see a significant spike in severe and critical cases, and we have no problems at the hospital.)
“Kung magtutuloy-tuloy po ang mga kaso, siyempre makakakita tayo rin ng patuloy na pagtaas at baka yung admissions natin sa ospital ay tumaas. And therefore ‘pag ganyan ang nangyari, magshi-shift tayo and mag-e-escalate sa Alert Level 2 natin,” Vergeire explained.
(If cases increase, and of course we see more severe and critical cases, therefore when that happens, we might shift and escalate to Alert Level 2.)
In a statement released Monday afternoon, the DOH said that for Metro Manila to be escalated to Alert Level 2, it needs to be classified under moderate risk in terms of total bed utilization.
"For an area to be classified under moderate risk, it should have a positive two-week growth rate (TWGR) AND average daily attack rate (ADAR) of at least 6 average cases per day per 100,000 population. As of June 10, 2022 while NCR shows positive TWGR, its ADAR is still below 6 at less than 1 case per 100,000 population," it said.
Metro Manila has been placed under Alert Level 1 since March after a drop in fresh COVID cases recorded daily.
From June 6 to 12, the country recorded 1,682 new COVID-19 cases or an average of 240 per day, the DOH said. This is 30.4 percent higher than cases from May 30 to June 5, said the agency.
The DOH had earlier announced the detection of the highly transmissible omicron BA.4 subvariant from a Filipino who traveled from the Middle East earlier in May.
Some 69.5 million or 77.24 percent of the target 90 million people in the country have been fully vaccinated against the respiratory disease. Of those who received their primary series, 14 million have received their booster shots.
-- TeleRadyo, 13 June 2022