President Marcos Jr. retains the COVID-19 alert level system

PBBM decided to keep the COVID-19 alert level system in place, citing concerns about reclassifying restrictions for milder coronavirus strains. Photo: PBBM Media Bureau

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. decided on Monday to keep the COVID-19 alert level system in place, for the time being, citing concerns about reclassifying restrictions compatible with the current milder coronavirus strains that infected patients.

"For the time being, we will keep the alert level system in place to avoid confusion. We're thinking about it, we're looking into it, and we'll make a decision very soon about decoupling the restrictions from the alert levels," Marcos said during a meeting with the Department of Health Officer-In-Charge Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

Marcos believes the alert level can be adjusted or improved if people get their booster shots.
This arose after health officials stated that a new alert level classification would be available by mid-August.

The DOH could issue new classifications by the second week of August, according to USec. Vergeire.

At the same time, she stated that mid-August is an appropriate time to loosen up to allay medical community fears and give them time to make COVID-19 cases more manageable.

The country is experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases due to the highly contagious Omicron BA.5 variant, the USec added.

Meanwhile, the health official said that based on the current projections, more relaxed compliance with minimum public health standards (MPHS) would result in more COVID-19 cases, but it is preventable.

The virus's immune-evasion mechanism has grown in response to new COVID-19 variants. According to Vergeire, if eligible individuals do not receive the vaccines, the country will see an increase in hospitalizations by September.

"That's why we wanted to capture all of this eligible population before the projected September deadline," she explained.
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