It is not yet the right time to lower the Covid alert level status in the country, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday.
In his prerecorded Talk to the People, Duterte thumbed down the proposed shift to “Alert Level 0,” saying the recommendation is not yet doable since there are still cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) Covid-19 in the country.
“You know, many want to implement [Alert Level] 0 or 1. That’s… That cannot be done because there are still areas [with Covid-19 cases,” Duterte said partly in Filipino.
Duterte issued the statement as he warned of a possible resurgence of Covid-19 infections in the country.
This, as he cited another rise in coronavirus cases in other countries that further eased their restrictions, including the United States and Japan.
“There will be reinfection, given there is a new mutant. We will have a problem,” Duterte said in Filipino.
Alert Level 0 is not yet considered an official term.
Duterte said the implementation of the most lenient Alert Level 1 in most parts of the country would continue.
He said he would only heed the proposal to implement the Alert Level 0, if the Covid-19 situation in the country gets better.
“Alert Level 1 would still be our good buffer, until such time when we record just one case or two cases all over the country. We will not lift that until we are very sure that everything is really all right, especially here in our place,” he said.
From March 30 to April 5, the country registered around 2,548 new coronavirus infections, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III told Duterte.
Duque also reported average daily cases of 364 from March 30 to April 5.
Duterte renewed his appeal for the public to continue wearing face masks and observe minimum public health standards.
The Department of Health (DOH) earlier said the further easing of Covid-19 restrictions would only be done, once all parts of the country are placed under Alert Level 1.
Metro Manila, as well as 56 other cities and provinces and over 100 component cities and municipalities, have been placed under Alert Level 1 for the first half of April.