President Rodrigo Duterte (MNS photo)

MANILA, Jan 25 (Mabuhay) — Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Monday said the National Capital Region (NCR) is “ready” to de-escalate to Alert Level 2 should the government decide for a less restrictive level by February.

In a televised public briefing, Duque described as “good” the NCR’s vaccination coverage, saying the government is confident that individuals would strictly observe the minimum public health standards.

As of January 23, there are a total of 21,473,675 vaccine doses administered in the NCR, the highest among all regions, data from the National Covid-19 Vaccination Dashboard show.

Since the start of the vaccination in March last year, the Philippines has administered 123,365,808 vaccine doses as of January 23.

Duque noted that the ongoing vaccination and implementation of health protocols are the main responses to ending the pandemic.

Even though the region is currently under Alert Level 3 until January 31, Duque said the indoor capacity for establishments is 30 percent and outdoor capacity is 50 percent, both capacities could increase to 60 percent and 80 percent respectively, provided that there is 70 percent vaccination coverage of senior citizens and individuals with comorbidities and businesses carry the Safety Seal.

“Baka pag-usapan ‘yan kung pwede nang magbaba to Alert Level 2 pero (We might discuss this if we can de-escalate to Alert Level 2 but) that is not yet cast in stone because we will still need to review the metrics,” he said.

NCR’s Covid-19 cases may have peaked since its rate of new infections is on a decline, he added.  (MNS)

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