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NCR deescalation a big possibility — DOH

Mayen Jaymalin - The Philippine Star
NCR deescalation a big possibility â DOH
Joggers and cyclists enjoy the open air as they exercise along the riverbanks in Marikina City on Friday morning, Oct. 22, 2021.
The STAR / Miguel de Guzman, file

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) sees a higher possibility of having Metro Manila deescalated to Alert Level 2 as new COVID-19 cases in the region continue to decline.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the National Capital Region or NCR has recorded a negative 52 percent two-week growth rate while the average daily attack rate (ADAR) also went down to 9.87.

Vergeire further noted that the COVID bed utilization rate is now at 39 percent and 48 percent for ICU bed.

“So, looking at these figures, if the downward trend continues and (the number of) patients in hospitals (also goes down), then the possibility of deescalating to Level 2 is very high,” Vergeire said partly in Filipino during the Laging Handa public briefing over the weekend.

Yesterday, the DOH reported 5,279 additional cases, bringing the total number of confirmed infections nationwide to 2,756,923. It also said that the active cases stood at 60,957 while number of deaths rose to 41,793, with the inclusion of 208 more fatalities.

The 7,312 additional recoveries pushed to 2,654,173 the number of those who recuperated from the illness.

Since the alert level system and granular lockdown were pilot-tested in Metro Manila, Vergeire said local government units have succeeded in shortening the detection and isolation of COVID cases to two days.

She reported that the government is also considering the imposition of stricter travel control for countries with increasing cases of Delta sub-variant.

“So we will be reporting to the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) about this, where the need for stricter border control for these countries will be considered. We need to study this very carefully since this (sub-variant) is still being studied and is not considered a variant of concern. However, (the strict border control) will be among the recommendations (that will be submitted),” Vergeire said in Filipino.

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