DOH says 'not impossible' for Metro Manila to deescalate to Alert Level 1 by December

Published November 15, 2021, 4:23 PM

by Betheena Unite

It is not impossible for Metro Manila to be deescalated to Alert Level 1 by December if the requirements for easing the current restrictions are attained, the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday, Nov. 15.

(An official of the Manila Police District Plaza Miranda Police Community Precinct (PCP) reminds a crowd of church goers to keep their distance from each other while waiting for their turn to go inside the Quiapo Church on June 4, 2021, the first Friday of the month. (Ali Vicoy / Manila Bulletin)

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that if all requirements such as low-risk classification for two incubation periods and vaccination coverage for seniors, those with comorbidities, and the target population are achieved, the community restrictions in the National Capital Region (NCR) will further be eased.

“It is not impossible for NCR to deescalate to Level 1 by December. Kailangan lang sustained ang gains na meron ngayon (We only need to sustain the gains we have now),” Vergeire said during a press briefing on Monday.

In order to allow the deescalation, the NCR must achieve 70 percent vaccination coverage for seniors, 70 percent for those with comorbidities, and 50 percent for the target population.

At present, NCR has reached both the vaccination goal for seniors and the target population, while the target vaccination coverage for comorbidities is still under 70 percent.

As of Nov. 15, NCR is also at the low-risk classification.

“Kung kayanin (If we can deescalate to Alert Level 1) by December, hopefully,” Vergeire said.

The health official also disclosed that they are now “discussing a threshold for safety seal in establishments.”

“This is for further safeguards for the public. Aside from being vaccinated, may safeguard na ang pupuntahan ay may (the public has safeguard that the establishments they are visiting have) compliance to safety protocols. Itong threshold pinag-uusapan pa para madagdag sa (We are discussing this threshold for the) additional requirements,” Vergeire said.

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