Will NCR slide down to alert level 2 next month? Palace responds

Published October 19, 2021, 5:13 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

“Anything is possible.”

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque speaks during the virtual press conference on Oct. 19, 2021 (Screenshot from Facebook live)

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque gave this answer Tuesday, Oct. 19 when asked to comment on OCTA research group’s rosy projection that the alert level in the National Capital Region (NCR) might go down to alert level 2 for the month of November.

“Kung talagang further bababa iyong mga daily case average at (If the daily case average will continue to drop along with the) two weeks attack rate at saka ang ating (and our) health care utilization rate, anything is possible,” Roque said in a virtual press conference.

The alert level in NCR was lowered to alert level 3 over the weekend. This finally led to the reopening of cinemas and amusement arcades–albeit on a limited basis–for the first time since the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic began last year.

A huge factor in the alert level downgrade is the reduction in daily new cases of COVID-19, which is credited to the vaccines’ efficacy.

An estimated 80 percent of Metro Manila’s eligible population has already been inoculated against the dreaded respiratory disease.

Needless to say, going down to alert level 2 in time for November will be a big boon to businesses in NCR, especially with Christmas just around the corner.

“Titingnan natin ang datos pagdating ng end of the month kasi talagang tayo ay data-driven (We will look at the data at the end of the month because we are data-driven),” said Roque, who also doubles as Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) spokesperson.

What’s sure according to Roque is that a further alert level downgrade in NCR won’t be possible if Filipinos become complacent and neglect COVID-related health protocols.

“So importante po na habang nandiyan pa si COVID, patuloy po ang ating minimum health standards – mask, hugas, iwas at siyempre po bakuna dahil sagana po tayo ngayon sa bakuna (What’s important is that while COVID is still around, we should continue to adhere to minimum health standards–the wearing of masks, avoiding crowds, and of course getting vaccinated especially now that we have a lot of vaccines).”