28 more areas under Alert Level 3 from January 14 to 31

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Workers prepare to deliver bangus (milkfish) from Pangasinan to Metro Manila markets in this BusinessMirror file photo.

Another 28 areas will be placed under Alert Level 3 from January 14 to 31, according to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), which issued its Resolution No. 156-C on Thursday.

Among the areas to be placed under the higher Alert Level 3 are Benguet, Kalinga and Abra in the Cordillera Administrative Region; La Union, Ilocos Norte and Pangasinan in Region 1; Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela and Quirino in Region 2; Nueva Ecija and Tarlac in Region 3; Quezon Province in Region 4-A; Occidental Mindoro and Oriental Mindoro in Region 4-B; and Camarines Sur and Albay in Region 5 in Luzon.  

Other areas to be placed under the esclated Alert Level are Bacolod City, Aklan, Capiz and Antique in Region 6; Cebu City and Mandaue City in Region 7; and Tacloban City in Region 8; Cagayan de Oro City in Region 10; Davao City in Region 11; Butuan City and Agusan del Sur in CARAGA; and Cotabato City in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
“These shall take effect on Friday, January 14, 2022 until January 31, 2022,” Acting presidential spokesperson Karlo B. Nograles said in a statement last Wed. 

He said the IATF will hold another meeting on Thursday to discuss the Alert Level in other areas, which were not included in the list. 

Among the areas not yet included under IATF Resolution 156-C are the National Capital Region (NCR) plus, which includes Metro Manila, Laguna, Bulacan, Cavite, and Rizal. 

“Will still have IATF meeting tomorrow to discuss alert level classification for other areas,” Nograles said. 

The concurrent Cabinet Secretary noted that Alert Level in NCR will likely be raised to 4 only if the healthcare utilization in the region reaches “critical level” or over 70 percent.   

As of Wednesday, this condition has yet to be met as intensive care unit (ICU) bed utilization is at 56 percent, isolation bed utilization is at 55 percent, and ward bed utilization is at 67 percent. 

No less than World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative Rabrindra Abeyasinghe said there may still be no need for the government to consider raising the prevailing Alert Level 3 in NCR to contain infections. 

“We are very conscious that we will need to increase those alert levels and increase the restrictions only if we see signs of the healthcare system being overwhelmed. Right now, we don’t see that.” Abeyasinghe said in a televised interview last Wed. 

He also said the higher infection rate in NCR has prompted many people to voluntarily refrain from going outside of their homes.

“We are very careful in saying we need to restrict movements more, what is important is at individual level everybody following the minimum public health standards and isolating or quarantining themselves if they have symptoms or exposure so that we reduce the risk of transmission and reduce the need for stricter quarantine because that have very serious economic consequences,”  Abeyasinghe said.  

Image credits: Mau Victa


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