IATF Announces New Alert Levels For Key Areas In The Philippines
ALERT LEVELS – The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) announces new alert levels in the Philippines.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Philippine government adopted a new system to curve the virus’ spread. As such, the granular lockdowns were formed basing the decisions of LGUs on “Alert Levels”.
Currently, those in Under Alert Level 2 are not required to wear face shields in public. Instead, the protocol had become voluntary. Still, private establishments may opt to impose the face shield protocol.
But, as November comes to a close, new alert levels for certain key areas in the Philippines were updated. According to an article from Inquirer, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the NCR will remain in alert level 2.
Meanwhile, all provinces in the Philippines will remain under alert level 2 except for Apayao which is currently under alert level 3. Additionally, all urbanized cities, as well as Isabela in Basilan, is now under alert level 2.
Nograles said that these alert levels would remain from December 1-15. However, experts believe that it would only be a matter of time before the Philippines encounters its first case of the new Omicron variant.
According to an article from Inquirer, Dr. Cynthia Saloma, the executive director of the PGC said:
So far, out of the more than 18,000 whole genome sequenced samples of the PGC (Philippine Genome Center) as well as of the Department of Health (DOH), we have yet to detect the B.1.1.529 variant
Likewise, Dr. Alethea de Guzman of the Epidemiology Bureau of the DOH agreed with Soloma’s statements. But, de Guzman said that despite the threat of the new variant, face shields in the Philippines’ shouldn’t be re-imposed as transmissions are still low.