(PNA file photo)

MANILA – The government is already preparing for the shift to “new normal” as the country is now back to low-risk classification for Covid-19, acting Presidential spokesperson, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, said Tuesday.

“Nasa low-risk classification na po ang National Capital Region at ang buong Pilipinas. Base ito sa tatlong metrics na ginamit (The National Capital Region and the whole Philippines are now at low-risk classification. This is based on the three metrics used) growth in cases, average daily attack rate per 100,000 population and health system’s capacity," Nograles said during the Palace briefing.

In the same briefing, Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the average daily cases per day from Feb. 8 to 14 is 56 percent lower than the infections logged from Feb. 1 to 7.

Vergeire said the country’s steady decline in new Covid-19 cases had helped in managing the national health system capacity.

In his report to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during the Talk to the People on Monday night, DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said the Philippines reached a low-risk case classification with a negative two-week growth rate of -74 percent and a low-risk average daily attack rate of 5.26 per 100,000 individuals.

He said all regions in the country are under low risk except for Region 11 (Davao), Cordillera Administrative Region, Region 6 (Western Visayas), and Region 12 (Soccsksargen), which are all under moderate risk classification.

Duque said the intensive care unit utilization rate nationwide is at low risk at 34.12 percent.

Meanwhile, he said the country’s total Covid-19 beds and mechanical ventilators utilization are at less than 50-percent usage.

Nograles attributed the latest Covid-19 situation to the cooperation of the public, by strictly adhering to the minimum public health standards and availing of the Covid-19 vaccine shots.

“All of the progress we have made to bring down the number of cases is a product of our collective efforts, and we thank our kababayans (countrymen) for their cooperation. We urge everyone to remain conscious of our health protocols as we work to build on the progress we continue to make,” Nograles said.

In his report to Duterte, Presidential Adviser on Covid-19 Response, Secretary Vince Dizon, also said the crafting of the "new normal" roadmap by the National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 and the DOH, is underway.

Dizon said the new normal roadmap will be available on the first week of March and will be presented to Duterte.

"This will really signal our move towards some semblance of normalcy after this very difficult two-year where we have dealt with the pandemic,” Dizon said.

Under the roadmap, the government expects the Philippines' economic growth will bounce back while scaling up the Covid-19 vaccination coverage to more Filipinos.

The Philippines has administered 132,031,140 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, with 61,225,811 Filipinos now fully vaccinated, including those who received the single-dose Janssen and Sputnik Light jabs.

Some 9,161,128 fully protected Filipinos have received additional doses or booster shots. (PNA)