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640K families in the NCR will go hungry as a result of a level 2 alert.

MANILA, Philippines — According to a lawmaker, a rise in the coronavirus warning level could worsen the food situation for roughly 640,000 households in the National Capital Region (NCR), putting them at risk of becoming hungry.

Rep. Joey Salceda of Albay made the statement after the Department of Health said on Monday that if Covid-19 cases continue to rise, the NCR could be placed under tighter Alert Level 2 restrictions once again.

Salceda further stated that each week of lockdown in the NCR costs workers approximately PHP1.6 billion in wages.

“We should be very cautious about declaring alert levels if they have no plan for how to replace the nutrition, non-Covid health, and welfare losses from that,” Salceda told reporters in a message. “From a healthcare standpoint, the alert level system, which is primarily focused on the number of Covid-19 instances, no longer makes sense.” Cases will always be present, so we must assess our abilities to cope with them.”

He pointed out that Executive Order No. 166, s. 2022, already mandates the use of more meaningful and empowering indicators for Covid-19 decision-making, and it specifically states that total and severe cases, case fatality, and immunization rates should all be considered when making limited decisions.

“I’m not sure what this talk about an increase in cases necessitating a higher alert level means.

That executive order has already become law. As a result, we should be shifting paradigms,” he explained.

He claimed that non-Covid-19-related fatalities killed more people than Covid-19-related deaths, “possibly due to economic repercussions,” with roughly 74,000 Covid-19-related deaths in 2021, while total deaths increased by 154,562 year over year.

“An early lockdown would have been beneficial. “However, at this late stage of the pandemic, especially now that people have learned to cope with it, lockdowns would be counterproductive, both in terms of health and in terms of the economy,” he said.

The prospect of escalating warning levels is depending on the measurements of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, according to DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire (IATF-EID).

If the number of cases and hospital admissions in the National Capital Region rises, the alert level will be raised to Level 2.

“Alert Level 1 will remain in force as long as hospital admissions and severity of illnesses do not affect our health-care use rate,” the DOH added. “However, we must keep in mind that if the number of instances continues to rise, the Alert Level may be raised.”

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