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In the Philippines, the government is preparing for an endemic Covid-19 situation.

Officials from the government unveiled new plans on Friday for the country’s transition to a “new normal,” including the possibility of shifting from a pandemic to an endemic approach to coronavirus disease in 2019. (Covid-19).

Acting presidential spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the administration is presently preparing the National Action Plan (NAP) Phase V, which would involve shifts in procedures and regulations on how the country will cope with Covid-19, during a virtual news briefing in Malacanang.

He stated that the alert level system and minimum health measures will most likely remain in place in the foreseeable future and that public protection against Covid-19 will continue to be ensured through vaccination.

Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) said the NAP Phase 5 will have the “same organization, organization structure” as the government’s previous NAP and will help the country move to the new normal.

“Ang gusto ko namin ay ma-empower iyong bawat Filipino, bawat mamamayan natin kung paano ang pagbasa nitong mga information na ‘to at paano sila dapatβ€”how they would act accordingly para magtuluy-tuloy na talaga itong ating, as you say, iyong pagbalik natin

Meanwhile, Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire of the Department of Health (DOH) said the government is currently shifting to NAP Phase V, which would prepare the country to deal with the risk of Covid-19 becoming endemic.

An endemic state, she explained, occurs when sickness instances are “stable,” “consistent,” or “predictable,” but it does not imply a milder form of the disease.

“A balance exists between the level of transmission and the level of immunity in a given location. So, having said that, ibig sabihin po ng endemic state natin, greatest example iyong atin pong sakit na tigdas,” Vergeire remarked.

She explained that while Filipino children are routinely vaccinated against measles until the country reaches a point where only a few instances of the disease occur, outbreaks still occur when the population’s immunity begins to wane.

“We are now moving with the NAP Phase 5.” “Pini-prepare natin iyong ating sistema para pagdating po nung point na talaga ang state is endemic na (We are preparing our system so that when the time comes that we are in an endemic state), we will be able to handle, resilient, and prepared,” Vergeire added.

As the Covid-19 situation in the country and on the international stage continues to improve, the administration has previously allowed foreign nationals to enter the country for commercial and tourism purposes.

Metro Manila, Batanes, Bulacan, Cavite, Biliran, Southern Leyte, and Basilan have been placed on Alert Level 2 as the number of new and current cases, as well as the number of people hospitalized due to Covid-19, continues to decline.

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