The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has categorized the Philippines as a Level 3 destination for a high level of COVID-19 in the country.
According to the US CDC, Level 3 meant that a destination had more than 100 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population over the past 28 days.
The US CDC advised travelers to the Philippines to make sure they were up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines before making the trip.
It said those who weren't up to date with their vaccine shots should avoid travel to the country.
The US CDC said those who have weakened immune systems or are at increased risk for severe disease should talk to their doctors and consider delaying travel to the Philippines even if they were up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines.
Other key information for the travelers to the Philippines are the following:
- Even if you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines, you may still be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19;
- Anyone 2 years or older should properly wear a well-fitting mask in indoor public spaces; and
- Follow all requirements and recommendations in the Philippines.
The Philippines' Department of Health on Aug. 12 said that the Philippines remained at low risk for COVID-19 despite a slight nationwide increase in admissions in intensive care units (ICU).
Asked about the US CDC classification, DOH officer in charge Ma. Rosario Vergeire said the Philippines used different metrics in classifying COVID-19 risks.
She said preserving the healthcare system was the country’s most valuable indicator.
“Sa CDC, ang ginagamit nila ‘yung incidence rate triangulated with the testing data," Vergeire said.
"Dito po sa ating bansa, we know na ito pong number of cases ay hindi po na natin binibigyan ng equal weight with our healthcare utilization,” she added.
“In terms of these classification by the US CDC, it talks about the number of cases and the number of those testing positive but we need to further go deep and analyze these," Vergeire said.
"Ilan ba diyan sa sinasabi nila na naging high risk tayo ay severe at critical? Ilan ba diyan ang na-ospital?” she added.
(CDC uses the incidence rate triangulated with the testing data. Here in our country, this not given as much weight as our healthcare utilization. In terms of these classifications by the US CDC, it talks about the number of cases and the number of those testing positive but we need to further go deep and analyze these. How many of these cases are severe and critical? How many of these were hospitalized?)
Vergeire said the severe and critical infections in the Philippines remained to be at that low number which was less than 1,000 cases.
She said that the hospital admissions were “manageable” and the country could still preserve its healthcare system capacity despite the rising COVID-19 infections.
The Philippines on Monday logged 3,484 fresh COVID-19 cases, bringing the total nationwide tally to 3,835,422. The country’s active caseload was also at 38,982.
From August 8 to August 14, a total of 28,008 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the country, which was 3% higher compared to the cases the previous week. —NB, GMA News