BOOSTER SHOT. Val dela Cruz, 62, a resident of Agustina Village, gets his Sinovac Covid-19 booster shot at the covered court of the Francisco E. Barzaga Memorial School, Zone III in Dasmariñas City, Cavite on Thursday (Jan. 20, 2022). At least 600 individuals were inoculated with booster doses of the Chinese brand during the activity.(MNS photo)

MANILA, Jan 21 (Mabuhay)  — Kalinga, Ifugao, Mountain Province, and Northern Samar will be under the stricter Covid-19 Alert Level 4 starting January 21, Malacañang announced Thursday.

“The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) approved on Thursday, January 20, 2022, the escalation of Kalinga, Ifugao, and Mountain Province in the Cordillera Administrative Region, as well as the province of Northern Samar, to Alert Level 4,” it said in a statement.

An escalation to Alert Level 4 means that an area has reached more than 70 percent in healthcare utilization rate, and alarmingly high two-week growth and average daily attack rates (ADAR).

Meanwhile, some 14 provinces and a city were also placed under Alert Level 3. These are:

*Apayao, Puerto Princesa City, and Masbate in Luzon;

*Siquijor in Visayas;

*Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga Sibugay, Lanao del Norte, Davao de Oro, Davao Oriental, North Cotabato, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat, Surigao del Norte, Maguindanao, and Basilan.

The Alert Levels will take effect from Jan. 21 until Jan. 31, 2022.

Earlier, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) placed Kalinga, Ifugao, Mountain Province, and Northern Samar along with the National Capital Region and 78 other areas under Alert Level 3 due to surge in Covid-19 infections.

Other areas provinces and cities previously put under Alert Level 3 are Baguio City, Dagupan, Ilocos Sur, Santiago City, Cagayan, Angeles City, Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Olongapo City, Pampanga, Zambales, Rizal, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Lucena City, Marinduque, Romblon, Camarines Norte, Catanduanes, Naga City, Sorsogon, Iloilo City, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Guimaras, Lapu-Lapu City, Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental, Ormoc City, Biliran, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Western Samar, City of Isabela, Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur, Bukidnon, Iligan City, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, General Santos City, South Cotabato, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, and Lanao del Sur.

Also placed under Level 3 include Benguet, Abra, La Union, Ilocos Norte, Pangasinan, Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela, Quirino, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Quezon Province, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Camarines Sur, Albay, Bacolod City, Aklan, Capiz, Antique, Cebu City, Mandaue City, Tacloban City, Cagayan de Oro City, Davao City, Butuan City, Agusan del Sur, and Cotabato City.

On Thursday, the Department of Health (DOH) logged 31,173 new Covid-19 infections, increasing the active cases to 275,364 while total recoveries jumped to 2,995,961, or 90.1 percent of the total caseload of 3,324,478, after reporting 26,298 new recoveries.

The death toll is now 53,153 with the addition of 110 new fatalities. (MNS)

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