COVID-19

Alert Level 3 in Metro Manila extended until end-January

Alert Level 3 in Metro Manila extended until end-January

MANILA SURGE. Vendors and other workers at the night market in Divisoria, Manila queue for their booster shot during a night vaccination program by the city. Rappler

Malacañang says the situation in the capital region does not yet merit an escalation to Alert Level 4 because its healthcare utilization rate is below 71%

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government announced it is extending Alert Level 3 in Metro Manila, Cavite, Baguio City, and 80 other areas until the end of January.

This is effective Friday, January 14, or Sunday, January 16, depending on the locality.

The new alert status was announced by Presidential Spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles on Friday, during a press briefing.

Under Alert Level 3, intrazonal and interzonal travels are allowed. Gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment, and funerals are also allowed under the new level. 

Meanwhile, the following activities are not allowed under Alert Level 3:

• Face-to-face classes
• Contact sports
• Funfairs (peryas
• Live voice/ wind instrument
• Casino

Agencies and instrumentalities of the government (60% on-site capacity)

Limited (30% indoor; 50% outdoor venue capacity)

• Cinemas
• Social events
• Tourist attractions
• MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions) 
• Amusement parks
• Recreational venues
• In-person religious gatherings
• Licensure exams
• Dine-in services
• Personal care services
• Fitness studios; non-contact sports
• Film, music, TV production

Below is the list of areas under Alert Level 3:

Alert Level 3 from January 16 to 31:
  • Metro Manila
  • Baguio City
  • Ifugao
  • Mountain Province
  • Dagupan
  • Ilocos Sur
  • Santiago City
  • Cagayan
  • Angeles City
  • Aurora
  • Bataan
  • Bulacan
  • Olongapo City
  • Pampanga
  • Zambales
  • Rizal
  • Batangas
  • Cavite
  • Laguna
  • Lucena City
  • Marinduque
  • Romblon
  • Camarines Norte
  • Catanduanes
  • Naga City
  • Sorsogon
  • Iloilo City
  • Iloilo
  • Negros Occidental
  • Guimaras
  • Lapu-Lapu City
  • Bohol
  • Cebu
  • Negros Oriental
  • Ormoc City
  • Biliran
  • Eastern Samar
  • Leyte
  • Northern Samar
  • Southern Leyte
  • Western Samar
  • City of Isabela
  • Zamboanga City
  • Zamboanga del Sur
  • Bukidnon
  • Iligan City
  • Misamis Occidental
  • Misamis Oriental
  • Davao del Sur
  • Davao del Norte
  • General Santos City
  • South Cotabato
  • Surigao del Sur
  • Agusan del Norte
  • Lanao del Sur
Alert Level 3 from January 14 to 31
  • Benguet
  • Kalinga
  • Abra
  • La Union
  • Ilocos Norte
  • Pangasinan
  • Nueva Vizcaya
  • Isabela
  • Quirino
  • Nueva Ecija
  • Tarlac
  • Quezon Province
  • Occidental Mindoro
  • Oriental Mindoro
  • Camarines Sur
  • Albay
  • Bacolod City
  • Aklan
  • Capiz
  • Antique
  • Cebu City
  • Mandaue City
  • Tacloban City
  • Cagayan de Oro City
  • Davao City
  • Butuan City
  • Agusan del Sur
  • Cotabato City
Alert Level 2 from January 16 to 31
  • Apayao
  • Batanes
  • Palawan
  • Puerto Princesa City
  • Masbate
  • Siquijor
  • Zamboanga del Norte
  • Zamboanga Sibugay
  • Camiguin
  • Lanao del Norte
  • Davao de Oro
  • Davao Occidental
  • Davao Oriental
  • North Cotabato
  • Sarangani
  • Sultan Kudarat
  • Dinagat Islands
  • Surigao del Norte
  • Basilan
  • Maguindanao
  • Sulu
  • Tawi-Tawi

The country has been repeatedly breaking its records for new COVID-19 cases, logging over 34,000 new infections on Thursday, most of them from Metro Manila.

Nograles explained that Alert Level 3 was retained in Metro Manila because the healthcare utilization rate in the region has not yet hit 71%, the trigger of alert level escalation.

The government wants to avoid imposing Alert Level 4 by telling the public, hospitals, and medical facilities that hospital COVID-10 bed space be reserved for severe and critical cases, or persons with moderate symptoms but are part of vulnerable sectors of the population.

Health department spokesperson Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said new reported cases are not translating to a rise in severe cases or deaths due to COVID-19, likely due to higher vaccination rates and, according to studies, the mildness of the Omicron variant compared to Delta.

“We saw a phenomenon called decoupling in the National Capital Region. This is when a rise in cases does not translate to a rise in the number of people who get hospitalized from severe or critical illness and death,” said Vergeire in the same press conference.– Rappler.com