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Sunday, December 05, 2021
DAVAO

Davao to use new Covid-19 alert level classification

Drone shot by Mark Perandos

BEGINNING Wednesday, October 20, 2021, Davao Region will be adopting the newly released Covid-19 alert level classification, scrapping the old community quarantine classification status.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), through Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, officially announced on Tuesday, October 19, the new alert level classification of the provinces in the country from October 20 to 31.

Based on the IATF Resolution 144-D, Davao Occidental is placed under alert level 4, the second highest alert level status.

Davao City and Davao del Norte are under alert level 3, while Davao de Oro, Davao del Sur, and Davao Oriental will be under alert level 2.

Roque said the expansion of the alert level system is still considered a "pilot study" as not all regions in the country had been included in the adaption of the new classification system.

The new alert level system was piloted in the National Capital Region (NCR).

The downtrend of cases and improvement of healthcare utilization rate in NCR had prompted the IATF to expand the alert level to some parts of the country.

"Pag napag-aralan naman talaga na mas epektibo itong (If we would be able to study further the effectiveness of the) alert level system, i-implement ito (this can be implemented) on a nationwide basis. Pero ngayon, limited pilot study pa rin tayo (But for now, this will still be under limited pilot study)," Roque said.

The Department of Health (DOH)-Davao, on Monday, October 18, already issued the possible alert level statuses of the provinces and highly urbanized cities in the region.

Rachel Joy Pasion, DOH-Davao Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit head, said Davao Occidental was placed under alert level 4 due to high or increasing Covid-19 transmission, resulting in increased bed utilization and intensive care unit (ICU) rates.

Pasion said there must be ramp-up active case finding, conduct risk-based testing using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and fast-track vaccination among high-risk groups. Intensified granular lockdowns from barangay down to the household level to contain transmission will also be implemented.

She added that the local governments can still appeal the classifications recommended for them.

The health official also said that areas under alert level 3 and 4 must increase their vaccination rate. In addition, they are mandated to avoid using hospitals as vaccination sites and instead prepare these in case of a possible surge of cases.

Pasion said areas under alert 3 and 4 will also be prioritized in the whole genome sequencing for the detection of variants of concerns (VOCs).

“We should make sure that we shall secure sample to these priority areas so that we can see if may kinalaman ba si VOC kung bakit tumataas ang (if the VOCs have something to do in the increase of) cases in these areas,” Pasion said.

As of October 18, Davao Region has a total of 100,337 confirmed Covid-19 cases, wherein 11,529 are active cases, 85,619 had recovered, and 3,189 succumbed from the virus.

Guidelines based on alert level

For Alert Level 4, persons below 18 and over 65 years old, those with immunodeficiencies, comorbidities, or other health risks, and pregnant women are required to stay at home unless accessing essential goods and services, or for work in permitted industries and offices.

Intrazonal and interzonal travel for persons not otherwise required to remain at their residences may be allowed subject to the reasonable regulations of the local government unit (LGU) of destination.

Individual outdoor exercises shall be allowed for all ages regardless of comorbidities or vaccination status but shall be limited within the general area of residence.

Outdoor or al fresco dine-in services in restaurants and eateries shall be allowed at a maximum of 30 percent seating capacity regardless of vaccination status.

Indoor dine-in services may be allowed at a limited 10 percent eating capacity but will cater only to individuals fully vaccinated against Covid-19 in addition to their allowed outdoor or al fresco capacity. Their workers must also be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Personal care services limited to barbershops, hair spas, nail spas, and beauty salons shall be allowed at a maximum of 30 percent venue capacity if such services are conducted outdoors regardless of vaccination status.

These establishments are allowed to operate at a limited one percent indoor venue capacity but limited to individuals who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 in addition to their allowed outdoor capacities.

Government agencies shall operate at least 20 percent capacity while applying work from home arrangements.

On-site outdoor religious gatherings allowed at maximum of 30 percent venue capacity regardless of vaccination status.

Indoor religious gatherings are allowed at a limited 10 percent venue capacity but may accommodate only individuals including prayer leaders, priests, imams, ministers and altar assistants who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 in addition to their allowed outdoor capacities.

Gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment, funerals for those who died of causes other than Covid-19 shall be allowed, provided that the same shall be limited to immediate family members, upon satisfactory proof of their relationship with the deceased and with full compliance with the prescribed minimum public health standards.

Areas under Alert Level 3 will allow movement of persons except for reasonable restrictions based on age and comorbidities.

People accessing essential goods and services, or for work in permitted industries and offices will be allowed.

Intrazonal and interzonal travel may be allowed subject to the reasonable regulations of the LGU of destination.

Individual outdoor exercises shall be allowed for all ages regardless of comorbidities or vaccination status.

All entertainment and recreational businesses and activities are not allowed.

Agencies and instrumentalities of the government shall remain to be fully operational with at least 30 percent on-site capacity while other may work-from-home and apply for other flexible work arrangements.

Business and activities will be allowed at a maximum of 50 percent venue capacity. These include indoor visitor or tourist attractions, libraries, archives, museums, galleries, and cultural shows and exhibits.

For areas classified under Alert Level 2, people will be allowed to move except for reasonable restrictions such as in closed spaces, crowded places, and close contact settings

Intrazonal and interzonal travel may be allowed subject to the reasonable regulations of the LGU of destination.

Individual outdoor exercises shall be allowed for all ages regardless of comorbidities or vaccination status.

Business establishments with Safety Seal Certifications will be allowed to operate at an additional 10 percentage points beyond the prescribed on-site or venue/seating capacity

Agencies and instrumentalities of the government shall remain to be fully operational with at least 50 percent on-site capacity while others may work-from-home and apply for other flexible work arrangements.

Business and activities will be allowed at a maximum of 50 percent venue capacity, including indoor visitor or tourist attractions, libraries, archives, museums, galleries, and cultural shows and exhibits. (RGL/With SunStar Philippines)


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