Malacañang maintains its cautious stance over the possibility of enforcing the most lenient alert level classification in any part of the country soon amid the declining cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles reiterated Tuesday, Dec. 7, that they are still in the process of monitoring the new Omicron variant which is crucial to the parameters in implementing an Alert Level 1.
“We’re monitoring Omicron very closely at inaabangan din po namin kung ano yung magiging final na findings ng WHO at sa ating mga (and we’re also waiting for the final findings of the World Health Organization and our) health experts internationally as well,” Nograles said during a televised briefing.
“Because everyone is monitoring kung ito bang (if this) Omicron is more fatal –yun yung pinakainaabangan natin (that’s what we are waiting for the most)–if it is more fatal, if it is more severe, it it is indeed more transmissible. So we still await the final word from the WHO,” he added.
While waiting for the WHO’s findings, the interagency task force (IATF) is still finalizing the final parameters to place an area under the most lenient alert level.
The Cabinet Secretary said the IATF will convene for a meeting this Thursday to discuss the matter.
“Hopefully we can get something more substantial from the WHO with regards to the Omicron. If not, then we have to continue yung pag-aaral ng IATF with regard sa anong mga final parameters natin sa alert level 1 (studying the final parameters for the alert level 1),” Nograles said, stressing that he does not want to preempt the decision of the IATF or the findings of the experts on the Omicron variant.
“We will discuss that in the IATF meeting this coming Thursday because the IATF necessarily being the interagency have to get the inputs from the different cabinet members and from the different agencies and departments of the government, then will come up with a consensus decision,” he added.
Metro Manila or the National Capital Region, including most areas in the country, are currently under alert level 2 amid the emergence of the new Omicron variant. The alert level will take effect until Dec. 15.
On Monday, Dec. 6, the Philippines recorded 543 new cases, which is the eighth straight day that it tallied fewer than 700 new cases.