37 areas under 'Alert Level 4' due to rising COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
37 areas under 'Alert Level 4' due to rising COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations
Members of the Quezon City Police District continue to conduct checkpoint along the boundary of San Mateo, Rizal and Quezon City on Aug. 5, 2021.
The STAR / Boy Santos

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health placed 37 areas in the Philippines—including eight cities in Metro Manila—under heightened alert due to high number of coronavirus infections and hospital occupancy rates.

An area is under Alert Level 4 if its risk classification is moderate to critical and it has a healthcare utilization higher than 70%, regardless of the presence of the more transmissible Delta variant, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a briefing.

The following areas are under Alert Level 4:

  • Metro Manila: Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Pateros, Malabon, Taguig, Quezon City, Makati, San Juan
  • Cordillera Administrative Region: Apayao, Baguio City, Benguet
  • Ilocos region: Ilocos Norte
  • Cagayan Valley: Cagayan, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino
  • Central Luzon: Angeles City, Bataan, Olongapo City, Pampanga, Tarlac
  • Calabarzon: Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Quezon, Lucena City
  • Western Visayas: Iloilo, Iloilo City,
  • Central Visayas: Cebu, Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City
  • Eastern Visayas: Tacloban City
  • Northern Mindanao: Bukidnon, Cagayan De Oro City, Camiguin
  • Davao region: Davao City
  • Soccsksargen: General Santos City

Local governments of areas under Alert Level 4 need to implement granular lockdowns, conduct active case finding, increase hospital beds, ensure the availability of oxygen supplies, and immediately refer severe and critical patients, Vergeire said.

Alert system

The DOH on Friday introduced a four-tier alert system, which determines the severity of COVID-19 situation in different parts of the archipelago.

The alert levels are based on the COVID-19 transmission and the healthcare utilization rate in an area, as well as the presence of the Delta variant there.

“We placed alert levels because we’re in a crisis, and urgent decision and action of the government are needed. These alert levels will give us triggers on what must be done and which areas need to be flagged,” Vergeire said in Filipino. 

There are 42 areas under Alert Level 3, which indicates that COVID-19 cases there are increasing but the bed occupancy rate is below 70%.

Meanwhile, 32 areas are under Alert Level 2, while nine areas are under Alert Level 1.

Alert Level 2 means infections in an area are declining and its occupancy rate is below 50% but the Delta variant has been detected there. Also under this level are areas with decreasing cases but the bed occupancy rate is above 50% as well as areas with few but increasing infections.

An area is under Alert Level 1 if it does not have a Delta case, has a declining number of cases, and has a low utilization rate.

The Philippines on Friday recorded 10,623 new COVID-19 cases, the highest since April 17. So far, it has logged over 1.63 million infections since the pandemic began.

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