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DOH official says NCR to remain under Alert Level 4 for now

C-5 Road, a key transportation corridor in Metro Manila, traverses the cities of Taguig and Makati. The cave-like structure seen at left is the San Pedro Calungsod Chapel, located at the SM Aura Premier mall’s top level, in Taguig. Metro Manila may ease to a looser quarantine, Alert Level 2, if Covid-19 indications continue to improve. (NONIE REYES)

Metro Manila will remain under alert level 4 until the end of the month due to its still high healthcare utilization rate, according to the Department of Health (DOH).  

In an online press briefing last Monday, DOH-Epidemiology Bureau Director said Althea De Guzman noted that while the number of Covid-19 cases in the region started to decline, many of its medical facilities are still filled with infected patients. 

She noted the average new daily Covid-19 cases last week was down to 17,783, which was lower than the 19,946 cases in prior weeks. 

However, she noted the health intensive care unit (ICU) bed utilization for COVID-19 in NCR remains high at 76 percent.   

“If we will use the metric in assessing NCR, initially for this week, we remain under Alert Level 4,” De Guzman.  

The health official said the DOH is considering reviewing said metrics upon the request of the business sector to further ease quarantine restrictions in NCR through a lower alert level. 

Under the Alert Level System currently being piloted in NCR, the DOH will determine what alert level will take effect in a specific area affecting the activities, which will be allowed there. 

Alert level 5 has the strictest restriction, which is similar to an enhanced community quarantine, while Alert level 1 has the most relaxed measures. 

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