Sunday, October 17, 2021

DOH assigns alert levels, lists 37 areas under highest alert

MANILA. In this photo taken in March 2021, a health worker in a protective suit talks to a man at the Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center emergency area in Marikina City. (File)

(UPDATED) The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday, August 6, 2021, announced that alert levels have been assigned to each province, highly urbanized city and independent component city based on coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) case growth, hospital utilization rates and the presence of the Delta variant.

In a virtual press conference, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said 37 areas have been assigned Alert Level 4, the highest classification, while 42 areas are under Alert Level 3.

"We assigned alert levels because we are in a crisis and there is a need for urgent action from government," she said. The alert levels will trigger specific action points to address the crisis, she added.

Areas under Alert Level 4 are those with moderate to critical risk classification and more than 70 percent healthcare utilization regardless of the presence of the highly contagious Delta variant.

Those under Alert Level 4 are:

  • Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Pateros, Quezon City, Taguig, Malabon, Makati and San Juan in National Capital Region (NCR);
  • Apayao, Baguio City and Benguet in Cordillera Administrative Region;
  • Ilocos Norte in Ilocos Region;
  • Cagayan, Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino in Cagayan Valley;
  • Angeles City, Bataan, Olongapo City, Pampanga and Tarlac in Central Luzon:
  • Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Quezon Province and Lucena City in Calabarzon;
  • Iloilo Province and Iloilo City in Western Visayas;
  • Cebu Province, Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City and Mandaue City in Central Visayas;
  • Tacloban City in Eastern Visayas;
  • Bukidnon, Cagayan de Oro City and Camiguin in Northern Mindanao;
  • Davao City in Davao Region;
  • General Santos City in Soccsksargen.

To address the rise in cases and high hospital utilization rates in these areas, Vergeire said the local government units must implement granular lockdowns and active case finding, with the possible use of rapid antigen test in areas with local Delta variant cases.

There is an urgent need to increase hospital beds, especially intensive care unit (ICU) beds in Level 2 and 3 hospitals, in these areas, Vergeire said.

The LGUs must also ensure that there are enough oxygen supplies, and severe and critical cases must be immediately and properly referred.

Vergeire said healthcare capacity issues must not only be addressed in the LGU level but in the regional and national level as well.

Under Alert Level 3 are the following:
  • Caloocan, Mandaluyong, Manila, Marikina, Navotas, Parañaque, Pasig, Valenzueal and Pasay in NCR;
  • Abra, Kalinga and Mountain Province in Cordillera;
  • Ilocos Sur, Pangasinan and Dagupan City in Ilocos Region;
  • Batanes, City of Santiago and Isabela in Cagayan Valley;
  • Bulacan and Nueva Ecija in Central Luzon:
  • Rizal in Calabarzon;
  • Marinduque, Romblon and Puerto Princesa City in Mimaropa;
  • Masbate, Naga City and Catanduanes in Bicol Region;
  • Aklan, Antique, Bacolod City and Capiz in Western Visayas;
  • Leyte, Northern Samar and Southern Leyte in Eastern Visayas;
  • Zamboanga del Sur in Zamboanga Peninsula;
  • Iligan City, Lanao del Norte and Misamis Oriental in Northern Mindanao;
  • Davao Occidental in Davao Region;
  • North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat in Soccsksargen; and
  • Surigao del Sur in Caraga.

In areas under Alert Level 3, case counts are high and increasing, but healthcare utilization is manageable although increasing regardless of the presence of Delta variant.

LGUs must also enforce granular lockdowns, active case finding, decongest hospitals of mild and asymptomatic cases, increased Covid-19 beds to 30 percent of capacity and increase ICU beds for Covid-19 patients in Level 2 and 3 hospitals.

Under Alert Level 2 are areas with low and decreasing case transmission, low healthcare utilization but there are Delta variant cases.

Alert Level 2 areas are as follows:
  • Ifugao in Cordillera;
  • La Union;
  • Zambales and Aurora;
  • Occidental Mindoro and Oriental Mindoro;
  • Camarines Sur and Sorsogon;
  • Guimaras and Negros Occidental;
  • Bohol and Siquijor;
  • Eastern Samar, Ormoc City and Samar;
  • Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga City;
  • Misamis Occidental;
  • Davao del Norte, Davao de Oro, Davao del Sur and Davao Oriental;
  • South Cotabato and Sarangani;
  • Agusan del Norte, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, Agusan del Sur and Butuan City;
  • Cotabato City, Lanao del Sur and Sulu.

In areas under Alert Level 1, case transmission is low and decreasing, healthcare utilization is low and there is no Delta variant. These are the areas with minimal to low-risk classification, a negative two-week growth rate, less han 50 percent healthcare utilization rate, Vergeire said.

Those under Alert Level 1 are Palawan, Camarines Norte, Albay, Negros Oriental, Biliran, Zamboanga Sibugay, Maguindanao, Tawi-tawi and Basilan. (Marites Villamor-Ilano / SunStar Philippines)


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