MNS photo

MANILA, Sept 27 (Mabuhay) –The Department of Health (DOH) will announce on October 1 whether to retain or modify the COVID-19 alert level in the National Capital Region (NCR).

At a Palace news conference, DOH Epidemiology Bureau director Dr. Alethea De Guzman said they would decide whether to keep the NCR under Alert Level 4 or lower its classification.

The NCR is currently at moderate risk for COVID-19.

Based on the DOH’s monitoring, new cases in the region dropped by 13% over the past two weeks, but the average daily attack rate (33.98 cases per 100,000 population) and ICU utilization (76.22%) remained at high risk.

“Kung ito pong mga numerong ito ng NCR ang ating pagbabasehan, tayo po ay posibleng manatili pa sa Alert Level 4. Subalit ang mga metrics at ating mga numero ay tuloy-tuloy po nating pag-aaralan,” De Guzman said.

“We need to look at not one or two metrics but several for us to have a better picture and understanding of the COVID-19 situation — cases and fatality data, healthcare capacity, PDITR (Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treat-Reintegrate) indicators, and vaccination coverage.”

On Sunday, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Benhur Abalos said that he was hopeful the NCR would be placed under pandemic alert level 3 in October.

He said the growth and reproduction rates of COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila are already decreasing.

Metro Manila was placed under Alert Level 4 starting September 16. The pilot implementation will run until September 30.

Based on the government’s new guidelines, areas under Alert Level 4 — the second highest alert level in the new scheme — are those with COVID-19 case counts that are high or increasing while total beds and ICU beds are at high utilization rate.

Under Alert Level 4, outdoor or al fresco dine-in services in restaurants and eateries will operate at maximum of 30% venue/seating capacity regardless of vaccination status. Indoor dine-in services may be allowed at a limited 10%  venue/seating capacity but will cater only to individuals fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Personal care services limited to barbershops, hair spas, nail spas, and beauty salons will be allowed at a maximum of 30% venue/seating capacity if such services are conducted outdoors regardless of vaccination status. (MNS)

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