'No escalation': 26 provinces under COVID-19 Alert Level 2 since June 2022

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
'No escalation': 26 provinces under COVID-19 Alert Level 2 since June 2022
Pedestrians walk past a COVID-19-themed mural in Barangay Bagong Ilog, Pasig City on April 18, 2023.
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health on Sunday clarified the 26 provinces under Alert Level 2 for the rest of April were not escalated from Alert Level 1.

"Rather, these have maintained their Alert Level 2 status since June 2022," the DOH said in a message to reporters.

"No province or city has been escalated to Alert Level 2 from Alert Level 1 since January 2023," it added.

According to a resolution of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) signed on April 14, the following areas are under Alert Level 2:

  1. Benguet
  2. Ifugao
  3. Quezon Province
  4. Palawan
  5. Camarines Norte
  6. Masbate
  7. Antique
  8. Negros Occidental
  9. Bohol
  10. Cebu province
  11. Negros Oriental
  12. Leyte
  13. Western Samar
  14. Lanao del Norte
  15. Davao de Oro
  16. Davao del Norte
  17. Davao del Sur
  18. Davao Occidental
  19. North Cotabato
  20. Sarangani
  21. Sultan Kudarat
  22. Dinagat Islands
  23. Basilan
  24. Maguindanao
  25. Sulu
  26. Tawi-Tawi

The health department explained that while these areas have low COVID-19 cases and utilization rates, these provinces have vaccination rates lower than 70% of their target population and/or 70% of their total senior citizen population.

"Meeting these targets will allow these areas to be de-escalated to Alert Level 1," the DOH said.

Increase in admissions

The country is seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases as more people go out and as the economy continues to reopen.

The DOH said that while admissions have increased in some hospitals, no hospital has reported full capacity.

"This is not a good time to get sick. We have seen reports that some hospitals have increasing admissions for other diseases (eg. heart diseases) and these diseases account for admissions during pre-pandemic time," the department said, adding the extreme heat may trigger worsening symptoms of other illnesses.

The DOH also reminded those who are still unvaccinated, unboosted or under-boosted to get inoculated against COVID-19

The Philippines has confirmed over four million COVID-19 infections, including more than 66,000 deaths, since the pandemic began in early 2020.

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