Wed. May 25th, 2022

Government officials on Friday laid out new plans for the country’s transition to a ‘new normal’ and the possible shift from a pandemic to endemic approach to Covid-19.

(pna.gov.ph)

In a virtual press briefing in Malacañang, acting presidential spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the government is currently formulating the National Action Plan (NAP) Phase V that would include shifts in protocols and policies on how the country would deal with Covid-19.

He noted that the alert level system and minimum health protocols will likely stay in the near future and vaccination will continue to ensure the protection of the public against Covid-19.

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

“What we want is to empower every Filipino on how to read this information and how to act accordingly during the transition to the new normal,” Edillon said in Filipino.

Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, meanwhile, said the country is now transitioning to the NAP Phase V that will prepare the country to cope with the possibility of Covid-19 being endemic in the country.

She explained that an endemic state is when cases of a disease are “stable,” “constant,” or “predictable” but it does not equate to a milder form of the disease.

“There is that equilibrium between the level of transmission and the level of immunity of an area. So, having said that, what endemic state means, its best example is the measles,” Vergeire said partly in Filipino.

She said Filipino children are regularly vaccinated against measles until the country reaches a point where only a few cases of the disease occur, but outbreaks still do happen when the immunity of a portion of the population begins to wane.

“With the NAP Phase 5, we are now transitioning. We are preparing our system so that when the time comes that we’re at an endemic state, we will be able to cope and we are resilient and we are prepared,” Vergeire said partly in Filipino.

Earlier, the government has allowed the entry of foreign nationals into the country for business and tourism purposes as the Covid-19 situation in the country and the international stage continues to improve.

To date, Metro Manila, Batanes, Bulacan, Cavite, Biliran, Southern Leyte, and Basilan have been put under Alert Level 2 as the number of new and active cases continues to drop as well as a declining number of hospitalized individuals due to Covid-19.

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