Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III brought up the possible shifting of the quarantine status in the National Capital Region (NCR) to Alert Level 4 as the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections continue to rise. 

Duque said during an interview with Dobol B TV, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF) is looking at the possibility of upgrading the Covid-19 alert level in Metro Manila since healthcare care utilization rate in the nation’s capital region is reaching moderate risk.

“Madali na lang ‘yan pumalo sa moderate risk, which means 50 to 70% utilization rate. Nasa 47 to 48% na tayo sa ngayon ‘yun sa ICUs natin sa NCR,” the Health chief said.

“Healthcare workers natin marami rin ang nagkakasakit,” he added.

Duque explained that the government is avoiding a situation where there are enough beds in hospitals for Covid-19 patients, but not enough medical workers because there’s an uptick of infections among their workforce. 

“‘Yun ang kinakatakutan natin. Pinaghahandaan natin ‘yan [kaya] hindi malayo ang NCR ipasya na mag-Alert Level 4,” Duque said.

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) is already preparing for the implementation of a much tighter measure, Alert Level 4, if the existing steps won’t curb the rise of new Covid-19 infection, according to Philippine National Police Chief Police General Dionardo Carlos.

“We will take the cue from the NCR which has already implemented Alert Level 3 starting Monday, January 3. So far, everything is working smoothly. We instructed our police personnel to be fully aware of the guidelines,” Carlos said in a statement. Ronald Espartinez