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OCTA sees Alert 2 next month

Republika

Professor Guido David, an OCTA Research fellow, recently told CNN Philippines that the National Capital Region is “almost at low risk.” Should the trend continue, it would be possible for a lower alert level to be implemented. Specifically, Alert Level 2.

“That is the decision of the IATF and the Department of Health because they look at their set of metrics… but based on our metrics, if the numbers continue to go down, possibly by early November,” David said, “we could reasonably move to Alert Level 2, but we have to look into the numbers.”


IATF stands for the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases. Alert Level 2 is part of the quarantine classification system recently implemented by the government to replace the previous “letter system” (ECQ, MECQ, etc).


According to David, given the region’s current alert level, discipline is key. When Level 3 began, there was a considerable surge of people going out for non-essential affairs in public areas. While OCTA is all for downgrading to Level 2, people need to keep following minimum health protocols and exercise caution.


“Hopefully, there would be no spikes in cases because of people congregating in public areas,” he said during his interview. Other areas with a notable decrease in COVID-19 cases have been Bulacan, Cavite, and Laguna.


Citing professor David and Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, a molecular biologist, Presidential adviser for entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion is pushing for the lower alert level to help businesses recover since consumer spending spikes over the holidays.


“November to me is the most critical because November and December is when spending is at the highest. So ideally we should be at the minimum Level 2,” he said.


However, despite all this, there are still areas in the Philippines with a high COVID-19 case count such as Naga and Zamboanga.

Photo: Rappler


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