President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has decided to retain the country’s current Covid-19 alert level system, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

In a news release, the Palace said the president sought to reclassify restrictions compatible with the “current milder strains” of Covid-19 spreading in the country.

“To avoid confusion, we will retain the alert level system for now. We are however thinking, we are studying very closely, and we’ll come to a decision very soon as to decoupling the restrictions from the alert levels,” Marcos Jr. was quoted as saying.

The Department of Health (DOH) is expected to come up with new alert level classifications by mid-August.

The decision to adjust alert levels would hinge on an area’s population’s booster-shot uptake, Marcos Jr. said.

Maria Rosario Vergeire, officer in charge of the DOH, said August was a “suitable period” to loosen up to allay fears of the medical community and give them time to make Covid-19 cases more manageable.

The Philippines has more than 20,000 active Covid-19 cases as of July 19.

Nearly 70.7 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated against the disease, of which more than 15 million have received their booster shots. John Ezekiel J. Hirro