13 NCR areas under moderate risk

Thirteen out of the 17 local government units in the National Capital Region are now under moderate-risk case classification for Covid-19, the Department of Health announced Thursday.

In a media briefing, Health Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said that this is evident as there is a continuous increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in the NCR.

“We see a continuous increase in Covid-19 cases in the National Capital Region, although it is not yet at the significant levels,” Vergeire said.

“However, 13 out of 17 areas in the National Capital Region have reached moderate-risk case classification. That is why the NCR is now under moderate-risk case classification,” she added.

Vergeire also flagged Pasig, Muntinlupa, Malabon, Makati, Navotas and Caloocan for their increasing hospital admissions, particularly in their Covid-19 wards.

“We have already ordered the patient navigation and referral unit in the DoH to work with the Center for Health Development and look for patients who are mild and asymptomatic that can be transferred to isolation facilities,” she said.

Vergeire said that among 17 LGUs in the capital region, only the cities of Malabon, Navotas, Caloocan City and Valenzuela remained under low-risk case classification for Covid-19.

Earlier this week, the Health department reported that a total of 576 or 22.9 percent of the 2,514 intensive care unit beds in the country were occupied, while, 5,851 or 27.8 percent of the 21,078 non-ICU Covid-19 beds were in use.

‘Optional mask mandate remains’

Despite the upward trend of Covid-19 cases in Metro Manila, Vergeire said that the recently-implemented optional wearing of masks in outdoor spaces will continue.

She also belied claims linking the easing of the mask mandate to the recent increase in the number of Covid-19 cases.

“The cases are expected to increase, it is not just because of the masking policy outdoors but also because of the mobility of the population and the opening up of other sectors,” she stressed.

“Now, we all need to change our mindset. We all need to remember and be informed that the virus will continue to stay with us, and we will need to live with that,” she added.

Vergeire noted that the agency will only recommend reverting to the mandatory wearing of masks outdoors if the severe and critical hospital admissions also increase.

“If it reaches more than 50 to 60 percent that is when it will reach the threshold and the time we need to recommend to the President additional measures to prevent transmissions,” she said.

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