DOH: Alert level system based on science, not appealable

Published October 15, 2021, 2:01 PM

by Analou de Vera


The Department of Health (DOH) said that the implementation of the alert level system is based on “scientific metrics” and cannot be subjected to appeals.

“This alert levels are determined by DOH. Hindi ito (This is not) subject to discussions or debate. This is not even subject to appeals,” said DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Friday, Oct. 15.

“The alert level is a classification that we do based on scientific metrics na meron tayo (that we have),” she added.

Vergeire said that the decision to downgrade the status of Metro Manila to Alert Level 3 was because “their metrics warranted already deescalation.”

“Ang kanilang (Their) healthcare utilization rate, bed utilization is at moderate risk already. In fact, ang kanilang (their) total bed utilization is just about 50 plus percent and then their ICU utilization is about 65 percent,” she said.

“Nakita natin bumaba ang kanilang utilization for their hospitals, and then when you look at their case trend, ang kanilang two-week growth rate negative, ang kanilang ADAR (average daily attack rate) ay bumaba na din. And they are at moderate risk. Kaya sila ay naclassify na for this alert level (We saw that their hospital utilization has dropped, and then when you look at their case trend, their two-week growth rate is negative, their ADAR has also dropped. And they are at moderate risk. So they have been classified for this alert level),” she added.

Reopening of cinemas

Vergeire also defended the decision of reopening cinemas under the Alert Level 3 status.

“Kailangan pong maintindihan ng ating mga kababayan na hindi po nagrerekomenda ang IATF ng isang bagay o industriya na bubuksan if we think na wala tayong safeguards para po sa pagbubukas na ito (Our citizens need to understand that the IATF does not recommend an industry to be reopened if we think that we do not have safeguards for this),” she said.

Vergeire said that such establishments were being monitored by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for their compliance in health and safety protocols.

“There are ventilation standards required para sa mga ganitong lugar (for such areas). Ito pong mga cinemas, sila ay nabigyan ng abiso dati pa (they have been notified before, I think that was first quarter of this year—- na kung talagang gusto natin makasabay sa (that if they really want to keep up with the) new normal, we have to establish this safety standards in our cinemas,” she said.

“Dapat may safety officer. Bago pumasok ang tao may symptoms screening tayo and even throughout the movie dapat tayo ay nag iikot para makita natin if may mga taong sumusuway sa pamantayan (There must be a safety officer. Before a person can enter, there should be symptoms screening first, and even throughout the movie they have to go around to see if there are people who do not follow the standard),”she added.