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Philippines not ready to scrap COVID-19 alert level system

MANILA (PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – It is not yet time to remove the alert level system in the country in preparation for the time COVID-19 becomes endemic, Malacañang Palace said yesterday.

Cabinet Secretary and acting presidential spokesman Karlo Nograles said that while the vaccination rate in Metro Manila (NCR) is high, inoculations still have to be ramped up in other regions in the country.

“This is not yet the time to remove the alert level system because while vaccinations are high in NCR, we still have to ramp up vaccination in other regions,” he said in an interview on ABS CBN News Channel.

The Philippines has also yet to see whether there would be new COVID-19 variants that could trigger another surge, he said.

Nograles added that the Philippines has yet to see whether new mutations or variants would be like the Omicron variant where it caused less severe and fatal cases, even though it is more transmissible.

A police officer reminds passengers to maintain physical distancing inside a bus in Manila. PHOTO: AP