By CHRISTY MAE
WHILE there is a plan to place the alert level in Metro Manila and NCR areas to Alert Level Zero (0) from Level 1, Iligan City and Lanao del Norte remain under Alert Level 2 as they were declared from March 1 to 15, 2022 as such. This means the situation did not improve so that the present Alert Level 2 remains with the same health protocols imposed after March 15.
It was learned that what makes Iligan still under Alert Level 2 is the percentage of vaccinations that its residents have. According to sources, there are only 62 percent of the total populace being jabbed short of the 70 percent that may allow it to be declared under Alert Level 1. A locality with 70 percent or more of its population vaccinated will be placed to a more relaxed level e.g., Level One.
Like when the infections surge, this kind of situation in the city was due to complacency, lack of discipline, if not sheer stupidity, among the populace. First, we don’t follow the required minimum health protocols such as wearing of facemask, handwashing with the use of clean water and soap or alcohol, and the many who don’t want to take the vax inject.
And, as long as people have this negative response and wrong attitude, it is difficult for the locality to be placed under a lower alert level, which will still make life for our people harder considering the restrictions in their movement.
Meanwhile, the declaration of Alert Level 0 classification in a certain area doesn’t mean the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) has already been eliminated, National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19 special medical adviser, Dr. Ted Herbosa, said on Wednesday, March 16.
Herbosa made this remark following his previous statement that the National Capital Region (NCR) is already eligible for Alert Level 0 classification.
He said Metro Manila mayors have already recommended the shift of the metropolis to Alert Level 0, however, the public should be reminded that Covid-19 still exists.
While he assessed that the NCR is already qualified to de-escalate to Alert Level 0, Herbosa said he still favors the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to maintain the Alert Level 1 status in NCR until March 31.
“Kaya sang-ayon ako sa recommendation ng IATF kasi nandyan lang ang Covid, anytime pwede siya mag-reemerge at magkaroon ng outbreak (I agree with the recommendation of IATF because Covid-19 is still there, anytime it could reemerge and outbreak may happen),” he said in an interview at the Laging Handa public briefing.
Even if the NCR will be placed into the lowest alert level classification, Herbosa said the public should continue adhering to the minimum health standards and safety protocols against Covid-19, adding that there is a need to vaccinate the unvaccinated and provide booster doses to the eligible population.
On the other hand, Herbosa said the Alert Level System will now be part of the Department of Health’s epidemiology surveillance of new diseases such as the Covid-19 pandemic. (CMKO)