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A presidential business adviser believes that a higher alert level is unnecessary.

Joey Concepcion, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship, argues that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) does not need to create a tighter warning level system, especially in Metro Manila, where individuals are opting for voluntary lockdown.

Concepcion said movement in the National Capital Region (NCR) has slowed since the surge in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases following the holidays, according to a Laging Handa briefing on Friday.

People have contracted the virus as a result of the more transmissible Omicron form, he noted, and their entire homes have been placed on “voluntary lockdowns.”

“That is why they are apprehensive about going out, and their mobility has decreased.” When they proposed Alert Level 4, I told them that the simple fact that people are remaining at home is a voluntary lockdown, so it’s like Alert Level 4,” he stated in a combination of English and Filipino.

Despite the fact that the fresh wave of Covid-19 cases is likely to stymie economic recovery, the presidential adviser is optimistic that the number of infections will begin to decline by the end of the month or early February.

“According to our partners, OCTA Research, we will reach a stage when cases will decrease.” It will peak, stabilize, and then decline, as we’ve seen in other regions… Even before the fourth quarter, we saw that with Delta,” Concepcion added. “I am optimistic that we will see in NCR, ideally (cases) falling lower now, before the end of the month or February period.”

He went on to say that the government should keep its focus on vaccine deployment and booster injections.

Concepcion added that while Metro Manila and other regions in Luzon have high vaccination rates, the government should hurry up inoculating people in Visayas and Mindanao to avoid high hospital utilization, as statistics reveal that 85 percent of those admitted to hospitals are unvaccinated.

Concepcion reaffirmed his support for the “no vax, no labas” policy, which restricts unvaccinated people’s mobility to vital tasks.

Unvaccinated people are forbidden from visiting the mall, food places, and even public transit in Metro Manila.

The strategy is being implemented in some local government units (LGUs) around the country.

“It’s not like they’re losing their ability to roam, but they’re being protected from catching this Omicron and perhaps overcrowding the hospital.” Hopefully, the mayors of Metro Manila’s initiative will spread to other LGUs around the country. “I believe we will see a greater number of them taking the vaccine,” Concepcion added.

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