Proposed shift to ‘Alert Level 0’ not yet doable

By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos

April 5, 2022, 10:52 pm

<p>President Rodrigo Roa Duterte <em>(File photo)</em></p>

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (File photo)

MANILA – It is not the right time to order the further de-escalation of alert level status in the country, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday.

In his prerecorded Talk to the People, Duterte thumbed down the proposed shift to “Alert Level 0,” saying the recommendation is not yet doable since there are still cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the country.

“Ang (The) restriction is… You know, lahat gusto halos balik na sa zero or lahat one. Hindi puwede kasi may mga lugar na meron pa (You know, many want to implement [Alert Level] 0 or 1. That’s… That cannot be done because there are still areas [with Covid-19) cases,” Duterte said.

Duterte issued the statement as he warned of a possible resurgence of Covid-19 infections in the country.

This, as he cited another rise in coronavirus cases in other countries that further eased their restrictions, including the United States and Japan.

“Kasi mag-reinfect nang mag-reinfect iyan tapos may mutant na bago. Diyan magkaproblema (There will be reinfection, given there is a new mutant. We will have a problem),” Duterte said.

Alert Level 0 is not yet considered an official term.

Duterte said the implementation of the most lenient Alert Level 1 in most parts of the country would continue.

He said he would only heed the proposal to implement the Alert Level 0, if the Covid-19 situation in the country gets better.

“Until such time na talagang almost isa o dalawa na lang all over the country, ‘yung Alert 1 would still be a good parang buffer natin. Huwag na munang tanggalin natin iyan (Alert Level 1 would still be our good buffer, until such time when we record just one case or two cases all over the country. We will not lift that) until we are very sure that everything is really all right, especially sa ating lugar (here in our place),” he said.

From March 30 to April 5, the country registered around 2,548 new coronavirus infections, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III told Duterte.

Duque also reported average daily cases of 364 from March 30 to April 5.

Duterte renewed his appeal for the public to continue wearing face masks and observe minimum public health standards.

The Department of Health (DOH) earlier said the further easing of Covid-19 restrictions would only be done, once all parts of the country are placed under Alert Level 1.

Metro Manila, as well as 56 other cities and provinces and over 100 component cities and municipalities, have been placed under Alert Level 1 for the first half of April.

Movement of persons, regardless of age and comorbidities, in areas placed under Alert Level 1 is allowed, but there are still restrictions on crowded and closed spaces and close contact (3Cs) settings.

Private establishments and government agencies can operate at full on-site capacity, subject to minimum public health standards.

The use of well-fitted face masks is still mandatory, unless people are eating and drinking; participating in team and individual sports in venues where ventilation standards can be maintained; and practicing outdoor sports or exercise activities where physical distance can still be observed. (PNA)