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Iloilo City reverts to alert level 1; IATF eyes ‘alert level 0’ status



Iloilo City de-escalated to alert level 1 on Thursday, joining majority of the provinces and cities in the Philippines that we placed under the same Covid-19 lockdown scheme.

The new alert level in the city would take effect until 15 March, said acting presidential spokesperson Secretary Martin Andanar.

Amid the continuous improvement in the country’s coronavirus situation, the government is hoping that the nation would be downgraded to “alert level 0,” which was seen to further revitalize the economy.

“We hope new cases would drop to 500 or less daily, so we can de-escalate further to alert level 0,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a media briefing.

The government, he added, is now studying the guidelines that may be imposed under the said alert level.

Recommendations on the matter may be ironed out by the national pandemic task force in the coming days, according to the health chief.

“Some questions need to be answered regarding alert level 0,” he said in a mix of English and vernacular.

“For instance, will masks be removed? Is it okay to disregard hand hygiene, and are ventilations adequate?” Duque added.

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion earlier said that the alert level system should gradually be eased out if the threat of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 would be addressed.

The Philippines has so far detected around 3.7 million coronavirus infections, with 55,000 fatalities.