Status quo for Covid-19 alert levels pending IATF review–Palace

All existing Covid-19 alert level status will remain as the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) has yet to convene to discuss the new status, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz Angeles announced on Saturday., Malacañang extended the existing alert level status after it failed to release the new status when the previous alert level classification, issued by former President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration, expired on Friday, 15 July.,In a statement, Angeles said the IATF for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID) would meet on Monday to discuss whether the new status will be stricter or more relaxed for the rest of the month.,“The status quo holds for our alert levels, which the IATF will be reviewing on Monday (July 18),” Angeles told reporters in a text message.,As the officer-in-charge of the Department of Health, Dr. Ma. Rosario Vergeire will be the temporary chairperson of the IATF-EID.,A total of 85 of 121 provinces, highly urbanized cities and independent component cities, and 166 of 744 other component cities and municipalities were placed under the most relaxed Covid-19 alert level.,Aside from Metro Manila, the following provinces will continue to be under Alert Level 1: Abra, Apayao, Baguio City, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Dagupan City, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Batanes, Cagayan, City of Santiago, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Angeles City, Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Olongapo City, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Zambales. ,The said scheme was also extended to Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Lucena City, Rizal, Marinduque, Oriental Mindoro, Puerto Princesa City, Romblon, Albay, Catanduanes, Naga City, and Sorsogon.,In the Visayas, also placed under Alert Level 1 were Aklan, Bacolod City, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo Province, Iloilo City, Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City (Opon), Mandaue City, Siquijor, Biliran, Eastern Samar, Ormoc City, Southern Leyte, and Tacloban City.,Also included in Alert Level 1 areas were Zamboanga City, Bukidnon, Cagayan De Oro City, Camiguin, Iligan City, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Davao City, Davao Oriental, South Cotabato, Butuan City, Surigao Del Sur, Agusan Del Norte, Agusan Del Sur, and Cotabato City.,The rest of the provinces and cities were placed under stricter Alert Level 2 during the same period.,A case risk classification based on average daily attack rates, total bed utilization rates, and its thresholds was used as the basis for the alert level system.,In areas under Alert Level 1, all establishments and public transport are allowed to operate.,As of 15 July, a total of 18,090 active cases were recorded by the DoH, bringing the total number to 3,727,970 cases.,Some 60,641 have succumbed to Covid-19 while 3,649,239 have recovered from the disease. ,Metro Manila is the region where the most number of Covid-19 cases have been detected with 1,191,424, followed by Calabarzon with 663,874. ,As of July, more than 154.1 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered.,Around 15 million have received their third anti-Covid-19 vaccine or booster shot. ,President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., who has just recovered from Covid-19, said the government could make the wearing of masks “optional” if its Covid-19 booster shots campaign would be “successful”.,Marcos wants local government units to conduct a large-scale immunization drive for booster shots targeting school children so they can safely go back to in-person classes.