Metro Manila is not yet ready for an Alert Level 1 status, health reform advocate and former National Task Force (NTF) against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) special adviser Dr. Anthony “Tony” Leachon said on Sunday, Feb. 13.
“Lahat tayo gusto natin ng normal pero we are not yet ready. Sa tingin ko ay dapat Alert Level 2, ‘yan ang aking humble opinion (We all want this to be normal but we are not yet ready. I think it should be Alert Level 2, that is my humble opinion),” said Leachon in an interview over DZRH.
Leachon said that the country’s vaccination rate is not yet as good as the other countries that have eased their COVID-19 restrictions and have reopened their economy.
“Gusto ko lang sabihin na yung vaccination rate natin ay hindi pa masyadong maayos at ang boosters natin ay mababa rin. Sa ibang bansa na nagre-reopen, matataas ang kanilang vaccination rate (I just want to say that our vaccination rate is not yet very good and our boosters are also low. In other countries that are reopening, their vaccination rates are high),” he added.
Citing the recent Omicron-driven surge in the country, the health reform advocate warned that the mass gatherings due to election campaigns and sorties could lead to another surge.
“Kung maaalala niyo ang nangyari noong December, ang positivity natin ay two percent at nakakaranas tayo noon ng holiday rush. Ngayon, kapag binaba natin sa Alert Level 1, mobility ang pinag uusapan dyan at ngayon ay election period [at may] super massive gatherings (If you remember what happened in December, our positivity was two percent and we were experiencing a holiday rush then. Now, when we go down to Alert Level 1, mobility is in question and now is election period and there are super massive gatherings),” said Leachon.
The government’s pandemic task force is expected to announce the updated alert level status in Metro Manila on Monday, Feb. 14.