By Raphaella Sarangaya
The National Capital Region and other provinces in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao have been placed under Alert Level 2 beginning February 1 by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
According to Cabinet Secretary and acting presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles in a statement, the other areas placed under Alert Level 2 are Batanes, Bulacan, Cavite, and Rizal in Luzon; Biliran and Southern Leyte in Visayas; and Basilan in Mindanao.
Under Alert Level 2, the maximum operational capacities for several businesses and activities is 50% for indoor venues and 70% for outdoor venues, considering that all workers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Casinos, horse racing, cockfighting and operational cockpits, lottery and betting shops, and other gaming establishments are still not allowed to operate except when given authorization by the IATF or the Office of the President.
This newly-implemented system explicitly stated that Alert Level 2 will be effectuated in areas where case transmission is low and decreasing, healthcare utilization is low, cases are low but increasing, or cases are low and decreasing but bed and ICU utilization in hospitals is increasing.
Furthermore, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said on Sunday that the “No vax, no ride” policy will be lifted while the region is placed under Alert Level 2 beginning February 1.
Meanwhile, the following areas will remain under Alert Level 3 during the same period:
|Region 1 (Ilocos Region): Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union and Pangasinan, and Dagupan City;|
Region 2 (Cagayan Valley): Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, and City of Santiago;
Region 3 (Central Luzon): Aurora, Bataan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales, Angeles City, and Olongapo City;
Region 4-A (Calabarzon): Batangas, Laguna, Quezon Province, and Lucena City;
Region 4-B (Mimaropa): Marinduque, Romblon, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro and Puerto Princesa City; and
Region 5 (Bicol): Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate, Sorsogon, and Naga City.
|Region 6 (Western Visayas): Aklan, Antique, Bacolod City, Capiz, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Guimaras, and Iloilo City;|
Region 7 (Central Visayas): Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental and Siquijor, Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, and Mandaue City; and
Region 8 (Eastern Visayas): Eastern Samar, Leyte, Northern Samar, Western Samar, Ormoc City, and Tacloban City.
|Region 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula): Zamboanga Del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga Sibugay, City of Isabela, and Zamboanga City;|
Region 10 (Northern Mindanao): Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Cagayan de Oro City, and Iligan City;
Region 11 (Davao): Davao Del Sur, Davao Del Norte, Davao Oriental, Davao de Oro, and Davao City;
Region 12 (Soccsksargen): North Cotabato, Sarangani, South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat, and General Santos City;
Region 13 (Caraga): Surigao del Norte, Surigao Del Sur, Agusan Del Norte, Agusan del Sur and Butuan City; and
Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao: Maguindanao, Lanao Del Sur, and Cotabato City.
However, according to OCTA Research Group, Metro Manila and other provinces that are back to the “moderate risk” classification for COVID-19 should still remain cautious of possibly acquiring the more transmissible Omicron variant.
At present, the positivity rate in the areas mentioned previously is still at 20%, meaning one in every five tests of COVID-19 turns out to be positive.
Alert Level 2 is the same alert status the country was under before the start of the unanticipated surge of Coronavirus cases in early January 2022.
NCR, 7 other areas under alert level 2 starting February, palace says. (2022, January 30). Philstar.com. https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2022/01/30/2157418/ncr-7-other-areas-under-alert-level-2-starting-february-palace-says
NCR, 7 provinces placed under alert level 2 starting February 1. (2022, January 30). Philippine News Agency. https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1166669
Sarao, Z. (2022, January 30). ‘No vax, no ride’ policy suspended under alert level 2 — DOTr. INQUIRER.net. https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1547366/no-vax-no-ride-policy-suspended-under-alert-level-2-dotr