Muntinlupa Mayor Fresnedi votes to put NCR under Alert Level 1 starting March 1

Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi voted to put the National Capital Region (NCR) under Alert Level 1 starting March 1.

Fresnedi and 16 other mayors under the Metro Manila Council (MMC) held a meeting on Feb. 22 to come up with a recommendation on whether the NCR should be maintained under Alert Level 2 starting March 1 or ease the restrictions by placing it under Alert Level 1, the so-called “New Normal,” the lowest level of community quarantine under the metrics of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi (Muntinlupa PIO)

The vote of Fresnedi was based on Muntinlupa’s own coronavirus disease (COVID-19) data which showed the city recording a downtrend in new and active cases.

Muntinlupa City’s active COVID-19 cases have stayed below 100 in the last 12 days based on data from the City Health Office.

As of Feb. 21, Muntinlupa has 50 active cases including nine new cases, 20 recoveries, and zero deaths.

The total is down from 62 active cases on Feb. 20. From Feb. 10 to 21, Muntinlupa’s daily active cases averaged 73 per day. From 130 on Feb. 9, the city’s active cases decreased to 99 on Feb. 10 followed by 78 on Feb. 11, 73 on Feb. 12, 74 on Feb. 13, 63 on Feb. 14, 76 on Feb. 15, 84 on Feb. 16, 72 on Feb. 17, 73 on Feb. 18, 66 on Feb. 19, 62 on Feb. 20, and 50 on Feb. 21.

The city added 124 new COVID-19 cases from Feb. 10 to 21 as confirmed cases totaled 39,618 on Feb. 10 to 39,742 on Feb. 21.

Muntinlupa’s adult vaccination rate has exceeded the target population. As of Feb. 20, there are 441,311 fully vaccinated individuals in the city, equivalent to 115 percent of the target population of 383,021.

There are also 89,034 individuals who have received their booster shots in Muntinlupa, or 23 percent of the target.

The Department of Health (DOH) recorded 1,427 new COVID-19 in the whole country on Feb. 21 to bring the total active cases to 58,657.

In a public briefing last Feb. 15, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the government is “preparing to transition already.”

Based on case trends and healthcare utilization, she said, the NCR was now low risk.

“Kailangan not just people, but also establishments, both public and private, should provide safe spaces for our people,” she said, adding that establishments and public spaces should follow safety protocols.

In the same briefing, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said there are two conditions that should be met to ease the alert level.

To reach Alert Level 1, he said, the vaccination rate should be high especially among senior citizens and persons with comorbidities

“But we want to push the greater ... great, great majority of the population to be fully vaccinated and even boosted, number one. Number two, iyong compliance sa minimum public health standards po natin – mask, hugas, iwas plus airflow (Number two, the compliance with minimum public health standards–mask, hand washing, avoidance, plus airflow),” he said.

Nograles said that by March, the government will launch the National Action Plan Phase 5 that puts emphasis on high vaccination and compliance with minimum public health standards for the economy to rebound, more schools to open, and more children to go back to school again.