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The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday said only 12 areas are left under Alert Level 3 and one under Alert Level 4, as the government starts the nationwide implementation of the alert level system in the country, according to a report by GMA News.

At a media briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that aside from these 13 areas, the rest of the country or 89% are already under Alert Level 2.

“Starting today, November 22, all areas under the phased implementation of the alert level system will start. For the current week, 89% or 108 out of the 121 provinces, highly urbanized cities, and independent component cities are under Alert Level 2 and with minimal to low risk classification,” she said.

Catanduanes remains under Alert Level 4, which Governor Joseph Cua said was due to the high hospital bed occupancy rate and cases of the more transmissible Delta coronavirus variant in the province.

The following areas are under Alert Level 3:

  • Apayao
  • Baguio City
  • Ifugao
  • Mountain Province
  • Batanes
  • Nueva Vizcaya
  • Quirino
  • Siquijor
  • City of Isabela
  • Zamboanga City
  • Dinagat Islands
  • Sulu

Data by DOH showed that 9 areas among those in Alert Levels 3 and 4 made improvements in their case and utilization data. On the other hand, Batanes, Apayao, Baguio City, and Mountain Province remain in high and moderate risk classifications.

The DOH, however, noticed that the metrics for Lapu-Lapu City may require escalation from Alert Level 2 to Alert Level 3.

Under Alert Level 2, indoor establishments such as malls can operate at 50% capacity with an additional 10% capacity if they have a safety seal. For outdoor establishments, 70% is allowed.

Under Alert Level 3, establishments, or activities, will be allowed to operate or be undertaken at a maximum of 30% indoor venue capacity for fully vaccinated individuals only and 50% outdoor venue capacity.

Under Alert Level 4 are areas with COVID-19 infections that are high or increasing while total beds and ICU beds are at high utilization rate.

Indoor dine-in services are only allowed at a limited 10% venue/seating capacity but will cater only to individuals fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while outdoor or al fresco dining is allowed at a maximum of 30% venue/seating capacity regardless of vaccination status of customers.

Further, Vergeire reported that all regions in the country are now minimal to low risk for COVID-19, with the majority of the regions having a total COVID-19 bed and ICU utilization at low risk.

“All regions are now at minimal to low risk case classification with negative two-week growth rates and average daily attack rates less than seven per 100,000 population. Region 2 shows a positive two-week growth rate in the recent week,” she said.

Metro Manila belongs to the low risk case classification with a “negative two-week growth rate and an average daily attack rate of 2.69 per 100,000 individuals” which is higher than the previous 1.48.

President Rodrigo Duterte approved the nationwide implementation of the Alert Level System for determining restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This system limits lockdowns only in areas with high COVID-19 community transmission.

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