Lifting of state of calamity due to Covid-19 still under discussion—DOH

Makati CBD skyline

The Department of Health (DOH) is currently cold on the idea of lifting the country’s state of calamity status due to Covid-19 pandemic as several factors need to be considered first.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the lifting of the state of calamity is “being discussed among government agencies.”

“Sa IATF , napag-usapan nung isang beses (At the IATF, it was discussed recently) but we also presented the operational implications to this,” said Vergeire in a press briefing on Friday, June 3.

One example of this operational implication is the emergency use authorization (EUA) of Covid-19 vaccines in the country, said Vergeire.

“Pag nawala na ang state of calamity, nalift iyan, yung EUA natin hindi na iyan magwo-work (Once the state of calamity is lifted, our EUA will no longer work). So, government has to discuss thoroughly on this para mapag-usapan para magkaroon ng CPR ang mga bakuna dito sa ating bansa (in order for the vaccines here in our country to have a CPR),” she said.

“And for us to have CPR, the manufacturers have to finish the Phase 4 of their clinical trials. Marami tayong kailangan i-prepare (We have a lot to prepare) before we can readily do this lifting of state of calamity,” she added.

The DOH is also assessing the vaccination coverage, particularly in terms of those who already received the booster shots, said Vergeire.

“The challenge for our government— to have this increase uptick for boosters. Pag mababa ang uptick ng boosters, ibig sabihin ang immunity ng population ay medyo bumababa (When the uptick of boosters is low, it means that the immunity of the population is waning),” she added.

The DOH is also monitoring the number of cases, especially with the “influx of new subvariants.”

“Looking at our situation right now, baby steps tayo. We are looking at this process kung saan we are assessing day-by-day kung ano ang nagiging sitwasyon ng ating bansa (Looking at our situation right now, we are taking baby steps. We are looking at this process wherein we are assessing the situation of our country day-by-day),” it said.

“So, kailangan po natin pagtrabahuhan lahat iyan (we need to work on all these first) before we can finally give that recommendation to our president or next administration if this state of calamity will be lifted or not,” she added.

The validity of the Covid-19 state of calamity will be until September of this year.