NCR Covid-19 cases increasing but still under 'low risk'

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

June 15, 2022, 3:29 pm Updated on June 15, 2022, 6:11 pm

<p><em>(PNA photo by Joey Razon)</em></p>

(PNA photo by Joey Razon)

MANILA – Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in Metro Manila have increased but it is still under low risk case classification and will remain at Alert Level 1.

In a virtual press briefing Wednesday, Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said an area will be escalated to Alert Level 2 once its infection risk reaches "moderate" level with an average daily attack rate (ADAR) of six cases per day per 100,000 population or its total bed utilization rate have reached moderate risk.

"Nananatili po ang National Capital Region sa Alert Level 1 status dahil tayo ay nasa low risk case classification pa rin na may average daily attack rate na one case per 100,000 population (The NCR is at Alert Level 1 status because we remain under low risk classification and has an ADAR of one case per 100,000 population)," she said.

Cases in Metro Manila has been increasing since mid-May and have climbed to more than 100 cases per day in June 2022.

While cases showed a slight increase in the past week, the trend was not sustained in other areas except Metro Manila.

The rest of Luzon and Visayas, except Mindanao, also showed an uptick in cases but remains low at less than 60 cases per day, she said.

Nationwide, at least 1,889 new cases from June 7 to June 13 were recorded, with the current positivity rate at 1.9 percent.

Vergeire noted that other areas remain under Alert Level 2 since they "have not met their vaccination targets" yet.

"Para makababa sa Alert Level 1 status, kinakailangan ng full vaccination coverage of at least 70 percent ng kanilang targeted population at senior citizens (One of the prerequisites for Alert Level 1 is to have full vaccination coverage for at least 70 percent of its targeted population and senior citizens)," she said.

Waiting for clearer picture

Meanwhile, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said it has yet to tackle the possibility of Metro Manila's shift to a stricter alert level and its impact on employers and workers.

“That was not discussed at the senior officials level so far. We just had our meeting this morning but it was not part of the agenda,” DOLE Information and Publication Service (IPS) director Rolly Francia said in a virtual forum.

Asked if the DOLE will recommend the adoption of the work-from-home arrangement in the private sector due to the increasing number of cases, he said, “We still have to see the numbers.”

“As it is, based on what the health experts are saying, it is not yet time to adjust the alert levels so we will just abide by what the health experts would say. As soon as there are adjustments to the alert levels that would probably be the time for us to take a position,” Francia added. (with Ferdinand Patinio/PNA)