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Entire Philippines now under Alert Level 2

Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — The whole country is under Alert Level 2 beginning Friday, December 3, as the government deescalated the province of Apayao from Alert Level 3.

“This latest development means as of today, no province or city is under Alert Level 3,” acting presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles said in a press briefing. “This means that the entire country is under Alert Level 2.”

The deescalation of Apayao from Alert Level 3 came after the government’s pandemic task force tweaked the metrics determining alert level classifications of provinces, highly urbanized cities and independent component cities.

Under the new criteria, the one-week growth rate of COVID-19 cases is no longer a metric for escalation from Alert Level 1 to Alert Level 2, instead areas will be placed under the stricter alert level if either case classification or total COVID-19 bed utilization increases to moderate risk or higher.

Areas under Alert Level 2, meanwhile, will escalate to Alert Level 3 if both case classification and total COVID-19 bed utilization are at moderate risk, or if case classification is at high to critical risk.

The continued easing of coronavirus curbs comes at a delicate time when new COVID-19 cases are declining and the Omicron coronavirus variant spreads globally, threatening the reopening of the country’s economy which is just gaining steam.

The Philippines’ pandemic task force tightened border controls by suspending laxer testing requirements for travelers in the face of the threat of Omicron, which is suspected to be more infectious due to its multiple mutations. — Xave Gregorio

ALERT LEVEL SYSTEM COVID-19 PANDEMIC OMICRON VARIANT
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