METRO Manila will remain under Alert Level 3 until the end of January, acting presidential spokesperson Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles announced on Friday, January 14, 2022.

Nograles said Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) has agreed to keep the National Capital Region (NCR) under Alert Level 3 from January 16 to 31.

Under this classification, establishments are allowed to operate at 30 percent indoor venue capacity for fully vaccinated individuals, and 50 percent outdoor venue capacity regardless of vaccination status, provided that all employees are fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Face-to-face classes, contact sports and entertainment establishments are among the prohibited activities under Alert Level 3.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III earlier said one of the major factors being considered for the escalation or de-escalation of quarantine status is the country’s healthcare utilization.

On Thursday, January 13, the health department reported another record-breaking high of 34,021 fresh Covid-19 cases, bringing the number of active cases nationwide to a total of 237,387.

The DOH said the intensive care unit (ICU) utilization rate in the country is at 45 percent, while the isolation beds and ward beds occupancy were at 46 percent and 45 percent, respectively.

In the NCR, the ICU utilization is at 58 percent.

Duque said Alert Level 4 will be declared if the national’s healthcare utilization rate exceeded 70 percent. (SunStar Philippines)