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6 more areas placed under Alert Level 3

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Six more areas have been placed under Alert Level 3 as the government continues to deal with the rising number of COVID-19 cases outside Metro Manila.

Palawan, Camiguin, Davao Occidental, Dinagat Islands, Tawi-Tawi and Sulu will be under Alert Level 3 starting today until Feb. 15, acting presidential spokesman Karlo Nograles said in a statement issued yesterday.

Businesses and activities in areas under Alert Level 3 are allowed up to 30 percent indoor capacity for fully vaccinated persons and 50 percent for outdoor venues.

The government’s pandemic task force is expected to announce the updated classifications of Metro Manila and other areas this weekend.

The Philippines is classified as high risk, but a majority of its regions are under critical risk.

Metro Manila, Soccsksargen, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and Mimaropa are categorized as high risk while the rest of the regions are at critical risk.

Nograles recently cited the need to increase hospital bed capacities in areas outside Metro Manila so they won’t be escalated to the stricter Alert Level 4.

‘Baguio cases may have peaked’

Meanwhile, OCTA fellow Guido David in a report released yesterday said new cases in Baguio City appear to have peaked, citing the decreasing seven-day average new cases.

Citing data from the Department of Health (DOH), David said Baguio recorded an average of 500 new cases per day from Jan. 20 to 26, down from 547 in the preceding week.

The average daily attack rate dropped, but is still considered critical, with 144 to 132 new infections per 100,000 people.

The reproduction number or those that a COVID-positive person can infect remains “very high” despite the drop from 3.89 to 1.86.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong on Tuesday said the drop in infections in Baguio could have started since last week.

“Downtrend is a possibility next week given the usual plateau duration of seven to 10 days, but we want to be conservative in our projections,” he added.

The city health office said isolation facility bed occupancy dropped to 59.85 percent yesterday.

Meanwhile, Angeles City in Pampanga remained at “very high” risk despite indications that cases are decreasing.

DOH data showed that the city had an average of 155 new cases per day from Jan. 20 to 26, down from 163 in the preceding week.

The reproduction number and positivity rate dropped from 2.4 to 1.43 and 53 percent to 43 percent, respectively. – Janvic Mateo, Artemio Dumlao

COVID-19

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