IATF places 6 areas under Alert Level 3

The government's pandemic task force has escalated six areas to Alert Level 3 due to the rising number of local coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases.

El Nido is a municipality on Palawan Island. It is one of the most popular destinations in the Philippines thanks to its absolutely stunning islands and beaches. (Photo by Erwin Lim, courtesy of the Department of Tourism)

In a statement, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said that the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases decided to raise the classification of the following areas from Alert Level 2 to Alert Level 3:

  • Palawan
  • Camiguin
  • Davao Occidental
  • Dinagat Islands
  • Tawi-Tawi
  • Sulu

The new risk classification will take effect on Jan. 28 and will last until Feb. 15.

As for Metro Manila, whose Alert Level 3 status will lapse on Jan. 31, Nograles had said that the IATF will make the announcement regarding its status this weekend or before Feb. 1.

There have been calls to deescalate the National Capital Region (NCR) to Alert Level 2 following the reported decrease of new daily COVID-19 cases in the region.

However, Nograles said that the IATF has observed an uptrend of cases in areas outside Metro Manila.

Following the surge in COVID-19 cases that was supposedly triggered by the Omicron variant, the government has ordered local government units (LGUs) to increase their COVID-dedicated hospital beds and manpower.