COVID-19 Alert Level 1, hindi pa maaaring ideklara sa alinmang panig ng bansa – Malakanyang

Robie de Guzman   •   November 30, 2021   •   168

MANILA, Philippines – Patuloy pang pinag-aaralan ng Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) ang mga panuntunan upang maisailalim sa pinakamababang COVID-19 Alert Level ang isang lugar, ayon sa Malakanyang.

Ayon kay acting Presidential Spokesperson at Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, ito ang isa sa mga dahilan kaya hindi pa makakapagdeklara ang pamahalaan ng Alert Level 1 sa alinmang panig ng bansa.

“Yung alert level 1, pina-finalize pa po natin lahat ng parameters na kinakailangan para ma-consider ang isang lugar na qualified mag-alert level 1. So, sa ngayon po, meron pa po kaming tini-tweak at pina-finalize na mga parameters. So, right now hindi tayo handa na mag-declare ng any alert level 1 sa ngayon,” ani Nograles.

Nakasaad sa panuntunan ng IATF sa nationwide implementation COVID-19 Alert Levels System na ang mga lugar na mababa at pababa ang case transmission, total bed utilization at intensive care unit (ICU) usage rate ang maaaring isailalim sa alert level 1.

Sa pinakamababang alert level, full on-site o venue at seating capacity na ang pinahihintulutan sa mga establisyemento at activities pero dapat ay maigting pa rin ang pagpapatupad ng public health standards.

Samantala, kumpyansa naman ang Duterte administration na maabot pa rin ng bansa ang four to five percent target economic growth rate para sa taong 2021.

Ito ay kahit mananatili sa COVID-19 alert level 2 ang Metro Manila at mga kalapit probinsya nito hanggang kalagitnaan ng Disyembre.

“Barring any unforeseen circumstances, kung patuloy itong pagbaba ng kaso, patuloy rin po ang pagbaba rin ng mga ADAR, two-week growth rate, at patuloy pa rin po ang safe reopening ng ating ekonomiya then we are very confident that we will reach our growth targets,” ani Nograles.

Muli namang nanawagan ang Palasyo sa publiko na magpabakuna na at sumunod sa mga panuntunan para sa ligtas na pagbubukas ng ekonomiya. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

NCR reaches peak of COVID-19 cases — DOH, OCTA

Maris Federez   •   January 24, 2022

 

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) and the OCTA Research Group are in agreement that the National Capital Region (NCR) has reached the peak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases.

The two agencies said the number of COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila is now expected to go down come February.

DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said this development is brought about by the consecutive days wherein the 7-day average growth rate in the NCR has been seen to go down.

“Lumalabas nag-peak na at nakikita natin ilang araw nang sunod sunod na bumababa ang kaso ng NCR at lumiliit ang porsyentong iniaambag nito sa ating total case load,” Duque said.

Meanwhile, the latest projection of the OCTA Research Group showed that the growth rate of the virus in Metro Manila has decreased to -50 and the production rate has slowed down to 1.03.

OCTA said they expect the COVID-19 cases in the region to go down in the coming weeks.

OCTA fellow Prof. Guido David said that based on their monitoring, Metro Manila has reached its peak of COVID-19 cases on January 10, wherein the number of positive cases in the region breached the 18,000 mark.

“Simula January 14, masasabi natin na patuloy nang bumababa yung bilang ng kaso hanggang sa ngayon. Kahapon nga 5,000 na lang. So malaki na ang ibinaba from 18,000 down to 5,400. Ang laking improvement,” David said.

“At kaya nga yung projection natin hopefully patuloy na yan hanggang Valentines, baka less than 1,000. Baka end of February baka less than 500 na lang. At mababalik na natin yung kalagayan natin tulad nung nakita natin nung November and December sa buong bansa. Pero sa Metro Manila pa lang yan,” he added.

Based on their study, OCTA said that COVID-19 cases in the NCR will go down to as low as 1,000 by February.

This data, the group said, may be used by the government in determining whether to place the region under a more relaxed alert level restriction.

However, Duque said that this development is not yet a parameter to come up with the decision to ease the alert status in the NCR to Alert Level 2.

This, he said, still calls for the review and consideration by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

“Pero paguusapan pa rin yan mamaya sa IATF or rather on Thursday. Baka kailangan na kailangan ay tingnan na rin kung talagang malinaw na ang health care utilization ay nagkaroon na ng pagbabaklas o decoupling. Kumbaga tumaas ang kaso okay pa yung mga severe critical nasa baba so may decoupling, kung tawagin. Baka pagusapan yan pwede na at mababa to alert level 2,” Duque explained.

He added that based on the DOH monitoring, the hospital bed and ICU utilization in the NCR is now at low risk.

On the other hand, such is not the case in areas outside the NCR.

Duque said, healthcare utilization rate in several areas of the country are now at high to critical risk which the IATF is closely monitoring.

Meanwhile, OCTA Research also reported that decreasing COVID-19 cases are also recorded in the provinces of Cavite, Rizal and Bulacan. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Aileen Cerrudo)

4 provinces under COVID-19 Alert Level 4; 15 areas on Alert Level 3 – IATF

Robie de Guzman   •   January 21, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The government’s Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has placed Kalinga, Ifugao, Mountain Province, and Northern Samar under COVID-19 Alert Level 4, Malacañang announced.

In a statement released Thursday, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the new designation will be effective from January 21 until January 31.

The four provinces were previously under Alert Level 3.

Under IATF guidelines for Alert Level 4, establishments are allowed to operate at 10% indoor capacity for fully vaccinated individuals, and 30% outdoor capacity.

Operations of amusement parks, casinos, cinemas, as well as activities like contact sports and face-to-face classes are prohibited.

Meanwhile, the IATF placed the following areas under Alert Level 3:

 Luzon

  • Apayao
  • Puerto Princesa City
  • Masbate

Visayas

  • Siquijor

Mindanao

  • Zamboanga del Norte
  • Zamboanga Sibugay
  • Lanao del Norte
  • Davao de Oro
  • Davao Oriental
  • North Cotabato
  • Sarangani
  • Sultan Kudarat
  • Surigao del Norte
  • Maguindanao
  • Basilan

Malacañang previously announced that Metro Manila and other areas will be under Alert Level 3 until January 31.

‘No vax, no ride’ policy may legal na basehan pero limitado ang pagpapatupad – DOJ

Robie de Guzman   •   January 19, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – May legal na basehan ang pagpapatupad ng “no vaccination, no ride” policy sa mga pampublikong sasakyan sa Metro Manila, ayon sa Department of Justice (DOJ).

Ang pagtatanggol sa polisiya ay ginawa ni DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra sa gitna ng mga pagtutol sa panuntunan ng Department of Transportation (DOTr) na nagbabawal sa mga hindi bakunado laban sa COVID-19 na sumakay sa mga pampublikong sasakyan kung walang maipapakitang dokumento o katunayan ng exemption.

Sa isang pahayag, sinabi ni Guevarra na ang “no vaccination, no ride” policy ng DOTr ay alinsunod sa Administrative Code (EO292) at batay sa Republic Act 11332 o ang batas na nag-oobliga sa pag-uulat ng notifiable diseases.

Aniya, sa ilalim ng batas ay may kapangyarihan ang pamahalaan na limitahan ang galaw ng mga hindi pa bakunado kung para ito sa interes at kaligtasan ng publiko.

“The state has the power to regulate the movement of unvaccinated persons if it deems that such regulation is in the interest of public health or public safety and is for the benefit not only of the vaccinated but also of the unvaccinated,” ani Guevarra.

“In short, a person may refuse to get vaccinated for his/her own personal reasons, but he/she is duty-bound to obey reasonable state regulations affecting unvaccinated persons for the benefit of society at-large,” dagdag pa niya.

Sinimulang ipatupad sa mga pampublikong sasakyan sa Metro Manila ang “no vaccination, no ride” policy noong Lunes, Enero 17.

Exempted sa panuntunan ang mga manggagawang papasok sa trabaho, may medical condition kaya hindi makapagpabakuna, mga kukuha o maghahatid ng essential goods at services at mga pasaherong naka-schedule na magpabakuna. Kailangan lamang nilang magpakita ng identification card, medical appointment at iba pang dokumento.

Maraming grupo ang kumukwestiyon sa nasabing polisiya na tinawag nilang “anti-poor” at “discriminatory” sa mga hindi pa bakunado, lalo na sa mga walang sariling sasakyan.

Pero giit ni Guevarra, hindi naman pinagbabawalang bumiyahe ang mga hindi pa bakunado dahil ang polisiya ay epektibo lamang sa public transportation, at may nakasaad ring exemption sa rule na ito.

“The unvaccinated are not absolutely prohibited from availing themselves of public transport, provided that they have passes to show that they are out to obtain essential goods and service, such as food and medicine; or that they have medical certifications showing that they could not be vaccinated for medical or health reasons,” ang paliwanag ng opisyal.

Binigyang-diin rin ng DOJ chief na tatlo sa apat na indibidwal na naoospital o kaya ay namamatay dulot ng COVID-19 ay hindi bakunado.

At bagaman common carrier o pampublikong sasakyan ay bukas sa lahat, may responsibilidad rin aniya ang mga nangangasiwa nito na ihatid ang mga pasahero nang ligas sa kanilang mga patutunguhan.

“Common carriers are indeed open to everyone, but under our existing laws operators of common carriers are bound to carry their passengers safely to their destinations, and ‘safely’ means freedom not only from accidental injury but also from transmissible diseases,” ani Guevarra.

Paalala rin ni Guevarra na time-bound lamang o limitado lang ang panahon ng pagpapatupad ng polisiya at hindi naman ito required sa iba pang lugar na mababa ang bilang ng mga nababakunahan kontra COVID-19.

Una nang sinabi ng DOTr na ang polisiya ay epektibo lamang habang nasa COVID-19 Alert Level 3 o higit pa ang Metro Manila. Batay rin anila ito sa resolusyong ipinasa ng konseho ng mga alkalde sa Metro Manila na naglilimita sa galaw ng mga unvaccinated person.

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