COVID-19 state of calamity expires on Sept. 12; Marcos awaits DOH recommendation

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. is waiting for the recommendation of the Department of Health (DOH) if there is a need to extend the existing State of Calamity in the entire country due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Malacañang said.

President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. meets Department of Health (DOH) officials for an update on Covid-19, monkeypox, and dengue. (Malacañang photo)

Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said this as the State of the Calamity in the country, imposed by former President Rodrigo Duterte due to Covid-19, expires on September 12.

In her press briefing, Angeles was asked by the media whether Marcos was keen on extending the national State of Calamity. She said the President's decision lies with the DOH.

"It will depend on the recommendation of the DOH," she said Thursday, August 11.

"We will make the announcement when the time comes," she added.

Based on photos uploaded by the Office of the President to its social media pages, Marcos met with DOH officials to get updates on the country's Covid-19 situation.

The meeting was also to see the preparations for preventing the spread of monkeypox and dengue.

Joining the said meeting that took place in Malacañang on Wednesday were DOH officer-in-charge Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire and Director for Epidemiology Bureau Dr. Alethea De Guzman.

In his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) last month, Marcos said that while new Covid-19 variants were being discovered, the Philippines would no longer implement a lockdown.

"Sa ating sitwasyon ng pangkalusugan, nariyan pa rin ang banta ng Covid-19 lalo’t may mga nadidiskubreng bagong variant ng coronavirus, pero hindi na natin kakayanin ang isa pang lockdown (In our health situation, the threats of new Covid-19 variants are still here, but we can no longer afford another lockdown)," he said.

"Wala na tayong gagawing lockdown (We will no longer implement a lockdown)," he added.

Data from the DOH showed that the country recorded 27,331 new Covid-19 cases from August 1 to 7, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases to 3,813,952, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

As of August 7, the country has vaccinated 71,898,721 individuals, or 70 percent of the target of 78,100,578 people.