MANILA, Mar 11 (Mabuhay) –An official of the Department of the Interior and Local Government said Friday that “Alert Level 0” status could be implemented if COVID-19 is declared endemic in the country.

At the Laging Handa public briefing, DILG Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III pointed out that the alert status will be prescribed if COVID-19 is no longer affecting the entire country.

“Ang isang importante na mangyayari ay kailangan ma-declare na endemya na itong COVID-19″ (What is important is COVID-19 should be declared endemic), he said.

“Kapag sinabi nating endemya na nagdeklara ibig sabihin ordinaryong sakit na lang ito na kakaharapin natin sa araw-araw at hindi na siya nakakaapekto sa buong bansa,” he added.

Densing said the percentage of COVID-19 cases should be almost similar to the percentage of ordinary flu cases.

When the government’s National Action Plan Phase 5 is accomplished under Alert Level 0, Densing said the National Task Force Against COVID-19 will be scrapped.

Moreover, he said that the government will only keep the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

With this status, local governments will lead the policy-making and management of COVID-19 cases.

However, Densing said the government has yet to provide details on Alert Level 0, as it is still completing the National Action Plan Phase 5 that covers the economic recovery of the country from COVID-19.

Also, he noted that the Alert Level System should still be implemented because the Philippines is under a state of calamity until September 12.

On Thursday, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the government is now studying the possibility of further easing the country’s COVID-19 status  to Alert Level 0. (MNS)

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