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Metro Manila to ease to Alert Level 2 starting November 5

Alexis Romero - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — Quarantine restrictions will ease further in Metro Manila as the government’s pandemic task force downgrades it to Alert Level 2. 

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) approved the de-escalation of Metro Manila from Alert Level 3 to Alert Level 2 Friday, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement.

Metro Manila, the country's economic center, was placed under Alert Level 3 last October 16. The alert status was extended last November 1 and was supposed to be implemented until November 14.

Presidential adviser for entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion had called on the IATF to relax Metro Manila' status to Alert Level 2 by November 15, citing the decrease in the number of infections last month. Earlier this week, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said a downgrade of the capital region's classification to  Alert Level 2 in two weeks was possible.

Under Alert Level 2, the maximum operational capacities for several businesses and activities is 50% for indoor venues, fully vaccinated persons, and those below 18 years of age, even if unvaccinated and 70% for outdoor venues provided all workers of the establishments are fully inoculated against COVID-19.

Roque said the IATF has also approved the recommendation of the sub-technical working group on data analytics to base the alert level assignments on data that is nearest to the implementation date. He added that starting Dec. 1, 2021, alert level assignments shall be determined at every 15th and 30th of the month.  

"Escalations, on the other hand, may be done at any time in the middle of the implementation period as warranted while de-escalations can only be done at the end of the two-week assessment period," Roque said.

The IATF has also ordered the National Task Force Against COVID-19, together with the regional task forces and regional IATFs, to provide weekly feedback on the progress and implementation on all areas identified for alert level system roll-out to the IATF.

The task force has also amended the guidelines on the implementation of alert levels system for COVID-19 response in pilot areas to clarify the allowed movement of persons under varying alert levels.

The government has also identified indicators for assessing the success of the implementation of the phase IV of the pandemic action plan. The recovery indices to be used are number of severe and critical cases per month, time gap from detection to isolation, and tests per case for infection management; total vaccines administered per capita, new vaccine doses administered per capita, and fully vaccinated individuals for vaccine roll-out; and purchasing managers’ index by IHS Markit, Google mobility to retail and recreation, and number of commercial airline passengers for socio-economic recovery. 

COVID-19

HARRY ROQUE

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