PH COVID action plan requires more conditions for downshift to Alert Level 1

Published February 20, 2022, 1:03 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

As the country prepares for the next step in its battle against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Malacañang said that there may be additional conditions before any area can deescalate to Alert Level 1.

(File Photo by Ali Vicoy)

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles made the statement as the government’s pandemic task force prepares the National Action Plan Phase 5 (NAP 5) and a “New Normal Roadmap”.

The NAP 5 is set to focus on economic recovery and vaccinating more Filipinos against COVID-19.

In a press briefing, Nograles said neither the NAP 5 nor the New Normal Roadmap are completed yet but they may be presented in the next meeting of the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

“Hindi pa fully completed ‘no iyong roadmap na iyan pati iyong specific details ng NAP Phase 5 dahil pina-finalize pa nga ang lahat ng mga components (The roadmap and the specific details of NAP 5 are not fully completed yet because we are still finalizing all of the components),” he said.

“So maaaring sa next IATF meeting, doon na po ipipresenta (We may present that in the next IATF meeting),” he added.

The acting Palace spokesman said the presentation may include more guidelines in downgrading areas to Alert Level 1.

“It’s something that is still being discussed sa IATF dahil may panahon pa naman po tayo kung ano ba iyong karagdagang conditions if any for Alert Level 1 (because we still have time to figure out the additional conditions for Alert Level 1, if any),” he said.

Based on current guidelines, the following conditions must be met before any area could be placed under Alert Level 1:

  • A total bed utilization of less than 49 percent
  • A zero or decreasing two-week growth rate
  • An average daily attack rate of below one

Under Alert Level 1, there are no restrictions in terms of indoor and outdoor capacities. Everyone is allowed to undertake intrazonal and interzonal travel without regard to age and even comorbidities.

All establishments, persons, or activities are likewise allowed to operate, work, or be undertaken at full on-site or venue seating capacity, provided these are consistent with minimum public health standards.

Meanwhile, face-to-face classes for basic education shall be subject to prior approval of the Office of the President.