COVID alert level 1 still not imminent; 'gov't not yet ready,' says Nograles'

Published November 30, 2021, 12:59 PM

by Betheena Unite

While the government is in the process of “tweaking” parameters to place an area under the most lenient alert level classification, it admitted that it cannot afford to declare such in any part of the country at present.

Shoppers flock along Ylaya in Divisoria Market on Oct. 17, 2021 as the Metro Manila eases to Alert Level 3 for COVID-19. (Photo by Ali Vicoy)

Acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles said in a televised briefing Tuesday, Nov. 30, that they are currently finalizing parameters that must be considered for an area, like the National Capital Region (NCR), to qualify for alert level 1.

“Sa ngayon meron pa kaming tini-tweak at fina-finalize na mga parameters. Right now, hindi tayo handa na mag-declare ng any alert level 1 (Right now, we are tweaking and finalizing the parameters. Right now, we are not ready to declare any alert level 1),” Nograles said.

Metro Manila or NCR, including most areas in the country, are currently under alert level 2 amid the emergence of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The alert level will take effect until Dec. 15.

READ: NCR stays under alert level 2 from Dec. 1 to 15

Depending on the situation and considering all factors, such as the average daily attack rate, two-week growth rate, and healthcare utilization rate, the government may or may not revert to stricter restrictions during the Christmas holidays, Nograles said.

“As it still stands yung guidelines ng mga alert levels system natin, alert level 2, nandyan pa rin po. But, ‘pag kinakailangan i-increase alam naman po natin na kasama at kabahagi ng ating policy ‘pag in case ‘pag kinakailangan ma-increase agad ang alert level ay gagawin natin (Our guidelines for the alert levels systems still stand and alert level 2 is currently implemented. But if we need to increase it, which we know is part of the policy, we will increase it if it is needed),” the cabinet secretary explained.

With the concerns over the Omicron variant of the viral disease, active monitoring on the number of new COVID-19 cases in every area and possible clustering are in place, he said. Local government units were also reminded to implement granular lockdowns if needed to ensure that the new variant and other variants of the disease would not enter the country.