Mon. Nov 29th, 2021

The National Capital Region’s (NCR) Covid-19 classification may likely be deescalated to Alert Level 1 by December if it can sustain its low-risk classification for a month and vaccinate 70 percent of its vulnerable population, a health official said Monday.

(Photo courtesy: Philippine News Agency)

In an online media forum, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the region remains under low-risk classification, with its average daily cases on a plateau in the recent week.

NCR’s average daily cases from November 8 to 14 is 435, slightly higher than its record on November 1 to 7 at 404 cases.

For the period of November 1 to 14, its average daily attack rate is 6.24 and a two-week growth rate of -52 percent.

Its bed utilization rate is 26.55 percent; mechanical ventilator utilization rate, 21.09 percent; and intensive care utilization rate, 30.72.

Vergeire said for a region to be deescalated to Alert Level 1, its low-risk classification must be sustained for two incubation periods.

“So, if we classified your are as low risk on November 1, we’ll observe you two incubation periods until November 31, if you can sustain this low risk classification,” Vergeire said partly in Filipino.

Apart from low-risk classification, a region must have a vaccination coverage of 70 percent for its senior citizen population; 70 percent for persons with comorbidities; and at least 50 percent of the targeted eligible population.

Vergeire noted that more than 70 percent senior citizens and more than 50 percent of the targeted population in the NCR have been vaccinated.

“They’re working on the individuals with comorbidities because they have not achieved the 70 percent,” she said in Filipino.

A safety seal in the region’s establishments is another requirement which the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases considers when deciding on the appropriate Alert Level status.

Currently, the task force is in talks with concerned government agencies regarding the thresholds for the safety seal.

Vergeire said the decision on safety seal thresholds may be finalized on Thursday as additional requirements for Alert Level 1.

She added that such thresholds further safeguard the public because it ensures that establishments with the safety seal comply to safety protocols like ventilation and other minimum public health standards.

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