November 16, 2021

If we’ve been ‘low risk’ for a month, we can be eligible for Alert Level 1 in the NCR: DOH

A health official stated Monday that the National Capital Region’s Covid-19 classification might be deescalated to Alert Level 1 by December if it can maintain its low-risk classification for a month and vaccinate 70% of its vulnerable population.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online media conference that the region is low-risk, with average daily cases plateauing in the last week.

NCR’s average daily cases from November 8 to 14 were 435, slightly higher than its previous peak of 404 instances from November 1 to 7.

The average daily attack rate was 6.24 from November 1 to 14, with a two-week increase rate of -52 percent.

It has a 26.55 percent bed usage rate, a 21.09 percent mechanical ventilator utilization rate, and a 30.72 percent critical care utilization rate.

According to Vergeire, a region’s low-risk designation must be maintained for two incubation periods before it may be deescalated to Alert Level 1.

“So, if we identify you as low risk on November 1, we’ll observe you for two incubation periods until November 31, to see if you can maintain this low-risk categorization,” Vergeire added.

A region must have vaccination coverage of 70% for senior citizens, 70% for people with comorbidities, and at least 50% of the targeted eligible population, in addition to the low-risk designation.

More than 70% of senior citizens and more than 50% of the targeted population in the NCR have been vaccinated, according to Vergeire.

“Medyo hinahabol naman nila ngayon ‘yung folks with comorbidities na ‘di pa nila naa-achieve na 70% (They’re focusing on the persons with comorbidities because they haven’t met the 70%),” she explained.

Another condition that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases considers for determining the appropriate Alert Level status is a safety seal in the region’s facilities.

The task team is currently in discussions with concerned government entities about the safety seal’s thresholds.

According to Vergeire, the decision on safety seal thresholds could be completed on Thursday as part of the Alert Level 1 requirements.

Such criteria, she continued, protect the public by ensuring that enterprises with the safety seal follow safety practices such as ventilation and other minimal public health norms.

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