June 14, 2022
MANILA — The Department of Health on Monday raised the possibility of escalating the COVID alert system to Level 2 amid an uptick in COVID-19 cases in the National Capital Region (NCR), Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said on Monday.
Currently, Metro Manila is under Alert Level 1 until June 15.
“The possibility [of Alert Level 2] 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 nating hindi aalis ang virus na ito. It will stay with us,” she said on TeleRadyo’s Sakto.
(The possibility would always be there when the cases continue to increase but what the public needs to understand is that we are learning to live with the virus. We know that this virus will not leave. It will stay with us.)
“So, ito pong mga sakit na nagkakaroon ng mild at asymptomatic, it should be acceptable to the population. Ang pinaka-importante hindi pa natin nakikitang tumataas ang severe and kritikal na mga kaso at hindi pa rin po nagkakaroon ng problema sa ating mga ospital. By observing kung mayroong increase ng admissions, hindi pa ho natin nakikita ‘yan,” Vergeire continued.
(So, these mild and asymptomatic infections should be acceptable to the population. What’s important is we are not seeing a rise in severe and critical cases and there is no problem with our hospitals. By observing if there is an increase in admissions, we are not seeing that.)
Of the 17 local government units in NCR, 13 have a positive two-week growth rate of COVID-19 cases.
While the growth rate is positive, the number of cases is still insignificant in terms of crippling hospitals’ operations, Vergeire assured.
“Ito pong atin pong pagmo-monitor ng (Our monitoring of) trends dito po sa (here in the) National Capital Region, last week, we saw 14 out of 17 cities and/or municipality na may (with) positive two-week growth rate. Sa ngayon po (Currently), 13 out of the 17,” she said.
“Kapag tinignan po natin ‘yung kanilang mga average daily attack rate saka ‘yung mga kaso na tinatala sa bawat area, nakikita naman po natin that is not still significant because it is not affecting the admissions in the hospitals,” added Vergeire.
(When we look at their average daily attack rate and cases in each area, we see that it is not still significant because it is not affecting the admissions in the hospitals.)
According to Vergeire, the slight rise in COVID-19 cases may be attributed to mobility, the presence of transmissible subvariants, and waning immunity of COVID-19 vaccines due to a low booster shot coverage.
In a separate advisory issued later on Monday, the DOH also clarified that Metro Manila should first be classified under “moderate risk” before being escalated to Alert Level 2.
“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 100K population,” said DOH.
As of June 10, Metro Manila was showing positive TWGR but its ADAR continues to be below 6 – at less than 1 case per 100,000 of the population.
Also, Metro Manila remains at low risk in total COVID-19 bed utilization.
The DOH nevertheless reminded the public to wear masks, isolate themselves when sick, get vaccinated and boosted, as well as ensure good airflow to continue to enjoy eased restrictions under Alert Level 1.
Based on the latest DOH data, the country posted an additional 308 confirmed cases on Sunday, June 12, increasing the number of active cases to 2,918.