THE National Capital Region (NCR) will shift to the less restrictive Alert Level 3 from October 16 to 31, 2021, while the rest of the country will continue to follow the community quarantine system instead of the alert level system.
In a statement issued Wednesday evening, October 13, 2021, Malacañang said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases approved the recommendation to place NCR, or Metro Manila, under Alert Level 3 for the second half of October.
The IATF also retained the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) status of Apayao, Kalinga, Batanes, Bulacan, Bataan, Cavite, Rizal, Laguna, and Naga City.
Zamboanga City and Zamboanga del Norte were added to the list of MECQ areas while Lucena City and Iloilo Province were downgraded to general community quarantine (GCQ).
Areas placed under GCQ with heightened restrictions are:
Abra, Baguio City, Ilocos Sur, Pangasinan, Cagayan, Isabela, City of Santiago, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Quezon and Batangas;
Bacolod City, Capiz, Lapu-Lapu City, Negros Oriental and Bohol;
Zamboanga del Sur, Misamis Oriental, Cagayan de Oro City, Davao del Norte, Davao Occidental, Davao de Oro, Butuan City and Surigao del Sur.
The areas that will be under GCQ are:
Ilocos Norte, Dagupan City, Ifugao, Benguet, Tarlac, Lucena City, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Puerto Princesa, Marinduque, Albay and Camarines Norte;
Aklan, Antique, Guimaras, Negros Occidental, Iloilo City, Iloilo Province, Cebu City, Cebu Province, Mandaue City, Siquijor and Tacloban City;
Zamboanga Sibugay, Misamis Occidental, Iligan City, Davao City, Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur, General Santos City, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato, South Cotabato, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Dinagat Islands, Cotabato City and Lanao del Sur.
The rest of the country will be under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).
Malacañang did not say whether the alert level system would be rolled out nationwide after the pilot implementation in NCR.
Metro Manila was placed under Alert Level 4 from September 15 to October 15 under the new alert level system, which allows the enforcement of granular lockdowns.
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 3 are areas with high and increasing case counts, but manageable healthcare utilization.
With Metro Manila now under Alert Level 3, LGUs must still enforce granular lockdowns, active case finding, decongest hospitals of mild and asymptomatic cases, increase Covid-19 beds to 30 percent of capacity and increase ICU beds for Covid-19 patients in Level 2 and 3 hospitals. (SunStar Philippines from PR)