The government’s pandemic task force has decided to retain the classification of Metro Manila or the National Capital Region (NCR) under alert level 2 amid concerns over the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) approved on Monday, Nov. 29, 2021 the recommendation to place the [NCR] under alert level 2,” read a statement Monday night, Nov. 29 from Cabinet Secretary and Acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles.
“This alert level shall take effect from Dec. 1, 2021 to Dec. 15, 2021,” it stated.
NCR has been under alert level 2–the second most lenient classification under the Alert Level System (ALS)–since Nov. 5.
The hope of the business sector was the fuether de-escalation of protocols in the metropolis to an alert level 1 either by Dec. 1. 2021 or Jan. 1, 2022.
Over the weekend, the IATF announced precautionary measures designed to prevent the entry to the country of Omicron, of which little it known by pandemic authorities.
“Also placed under Alert Level 2 are: Cordillera Administrative Region: Benguet, Abra, Kalinga, Baguio City, Mountain Province, and Ifugao; Region I: Dagupan City, Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, La Union, and Pangasinan; Region II: Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, and City of Santiago; Region III: Angeles City, Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Olongapo City, Pampanga, Zambales, and Tarlac; Region IV-A: Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon, and Lucena City; Region IV-B: Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Puerto Princesa City, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan; Region V: Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Masbate, and Naga City; Region VI: Aklan, Antique, Bacolod City, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, Iloilo City, and Negros Occidental; Region VII: Bohol, Cebu, Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor; Region VIII: Biliran, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Northern Samar, Ormoc City, Southern Leyte, Tacloban City, and Western Samar; Region IX: City of Isabela, Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, and Zamboanga Sibugay; Region X: Bukidnon, Cagayan de Oro City, Camiguin, Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental, and Misamis Oriental; Region XI: Davao City, Davao del Norte, Davao de Oro, Davao del Sur, Davao Occidental, and Davao Oriental; Region XII: General Santos City, North Cotabato, Sarangani, South Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat; Region XIII (Caraga) Butuan City, Surigao del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Sur, Dinagat Islands, and Agusan del Norte; and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao: Basilan, Cotabato City, Tawi-Tawi, Sulu, Lanao del Sur, and Maguindanao,” Nograles said.
“The province of Apayao shall be placed under alert level 3,” he futher said.
Nograles said earlier Monday that the government was “acting with a sense of urgency” against Omicron.