4 provinces escalated to Alert Level 4

The government's pandemic task force has escalated four provinces in Luzon and Visayas to the relatively restrictive Alert Level 4, while 15 others will be placed under Alert level 3 from Jan. 21 to 31, 2022.

Maligcong Rice Terraces, Bontoc, Mountain Province (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

In a statement, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles announced the escalation of the following provinces to Alert Level 4 during the same period:

  • Kalinga
  • Ifugao
  • Mountain Province
  • Northern Samar

Meanwhile, Alert Level 3 will be hoisted in the following locations:

  • Apayao
  • Puerto Princesa City
  • Masbate
  • Siquijor
  • Zamboanga del Norte
  • Zamboanga Sibugay
  • Lanao del Norte
  • Davao de Oro
  • Davao Oriental
  • North Cotabato
  • Sarangani
  • Sultan Kudarat
  • Surigao del Norte
  • Maguindanao
  • Basilan

The country is currently dealing with a surge in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases that's being fueled by the Omicron variant. On Jan. 20, the country logged 31,173 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections to 3,324,478.

The government is aiming to fully vaccinate 77 million adults before the May 2022 polls, Nograles earlier said. If this will not be reached by the end of the first quarter, Nograles said they will consider holding another mass vaccination via the nationwide "Bayanihan, Bakunahan" program.

As of Jan. 19, a total of 121,493,405 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered, with 56,444,406 people being fully vaccinated.