The Covid-19 pandemic is not yet over, and the country has not yet reached the endemic state of the virus, a health official said Monday.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire made this comment a day after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) placed Metro Manila and 38 other areas under the lowest Alert Level 1 status from March 1 to 15.
“Endemic state means the virus remains with us in our lives, but the case numbers are acceptable in our society,” Vergeire said in a Palace press briefing in Filipino.
She said the endemic state could be reached when high number of vaccination in the country can balance off the transmission of Covid-19.
She added that death from Covid-19 is also acceptable during the endemic state.
“Time will come when cases in our country will be predictable and manageable,” Vergeire said in Filipino.
Vergeire warned that the IATF can still escalate the Alert Level System if the Covid-19 cases soar again.
“If a new variant enters the country causing transmission or severe forms of the disease, we may again escalate our alert level,” she said.
In the same media briefing, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, acting presidential spokesperson, urged the public to remain responsible by wearing face mask “at all times” and avoid mass gatherings.
“Although our de-escalation to Alert Level 1 can be considered a success, it is not yet time to celebrate. We still need to be responsible for ourselves, our families, and our community,” he said in Filipino.
The Department of Health on Monday logged 951 new Covid-19 infections, the country’s lowest daily cases this year.
It also reported 1,717 new recoveries, reducing the active cases to 52,179 or 1.4 percent of the total 3.662 million cases, while the death toll reached 56,451 after registering 50 new fatalities.