MANILA, June 13 (Mabuhay) — The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday said it is possible for the government to raise Alert Level to 2 should COVID-19 cases continue to increase in the country.

The National Capital Region is set to remain under Alert Level 1 — the lowest in the alert level system — until June 15.

“The possibility would always be there ‘pag nag tuloy-tuloy po ang mga kaso (if cases continue to increase),” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a radio interview.

Under Alert Level 2, certain establishments and activities are allowed at 50% capacity indoors for fully vaccinated adults (and minors, even if unvaccinated), and 70% capacity outdoors.

The Philippines on Sunday logged 308 new COVID-19 cases, the highest tally of new cases recorded since April 20.

It has also been four days straight that the number of new COVID-19 cases daily was above 250.

But Vergeire previously said that the slight increase in cases observed in the past weeks has not been sustained.

“Pero  ang kailangan po maintindihan ng ating mga kababayan, we are learning to live with the virus. Alam po natin hindi aalis ang virus na ito. It will stay with us,” she added.

She stressed that mild and asymptomatic cases should be “acceptable.”

Vergeire said 14 out of 17 areas in Metro Manila showed an increase in cases.

“Ang pinakaimportante, hindi pa natin nakikitang tumataas ang severe and critical na mga kaso at hindi pa din nagkakaroon ng problema sa ating mga ospital by observing kung meron man increase of admission,” she said.

In a message sent to reporters, the DOH said that the escalation of the alert level is dependent on the metrics of the Alert Level System.

“The possibility of escalation of the Alert Level is dependent on the metrics of our Alert Level System in accordance with the IATF Guidelines,” it said.

“The DOH is continuously monitoring all these metrics,” it added.

QC warning system

Vergeire also clarified that the warning system of local government units is different from the alert level system.

She issued the remark after Quezon City over the weekend raised its COVID-19 warning to yellow alert status.

“‘Yun pong ating mga warning system sa mga local government is different from our alert level system. Our alert level system po nationally, this applies to all areas in the country,” she said.

Meanwhile, she said the Quezon City Government’s warning system is composed of white, yellow for an observed increase in cases, and red for a sustained increase in cases and admissions.

“So nag leak po ang information, but really ang Quezon City was just trying to prepare and guide the public, ‘yung kanilang Quezon City community… hindi po dapat ipangamba,” she said.

Vergeire said the city remains at low risk for COVID-19. (MNS)

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