National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 deputy chief implementer Vince Dizon on Wednesday said there were at least nine provinces and highly urbanized cities (HUCs) added in the list of areas under Alert Level 1 due to the result of the fourth wave of the national vaccination drive.
During President Rodrigo Duterte's Talk to the People aired Wednesday morning, Dizon said among these provinces and cities were Zambales, Nueva Ecija, Batangas, Lucena City, Iloilo City, Cebu City, Ormoc City, Tacloban City, and Butuan City.
The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases has placed the National Capital Region and 47 other areas under Alert Level 1 from March 16 to March 31.
“Sila po ay pumasa na doon sa metrics natin sa fully vaccinated at pagbabakuna ng ating mga elderly. (They passed our metrics on fully vaccinated and vaccination of our elderly.) We have now a total of 64 cities and provinces throughout the country that are already at Alert Level 1,” Dizon said.
“We are trying to push all the other provinces and cities to really achieve these levels of vaccination so that they can also deescalate to Alert Level 1 at the soonest possible time. Hopefully, within the month of March so that they can all help the economy move forward,” he added.
Under Alert Level 1, intrazonal and interzonal travel shall be allowed without regard to age and comorbidities.
All establishments, persons, or activities, meanwhile, are allowed to operate, work, or be undertaken at full on-site or venue/seating capacity provided it is consistent with minimum public health standards.
Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said at least 1,400,889 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered so far which is 75% of the 1.8 million target in the fourth wave of the national vaccination drive.
Meanwhile, Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje earlier said the Bayanihan, Bakunahan IV was extended in some local government units and regions.
The vaccination of senior citizens will, meanwhile, be extended until Friday.
Cabotaje said the regions with the lowest vaccination rates are the Bangsamoro Region and some provinces in Region XII.
The government said it is eyeing to fully vaccinate 77 million Filipinos against COVID-19 by the end of March, and 90 million by the time President Duterte steps down from office on June 30. — RSJ, GMA News