METROPOLITAN Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos said the Metro Manila mayors unanimously agreed to retain the National Capital Region (NCR)on alert level 3 amid recorded high COVID-19 infection numbers.
Abalos said in a press briefing that the healthcare utilization rate (HCUR) in the metropolis between January 8 and January 9 only noted a slight increase which is still within the metrics for alert level 3.
Based on Department of Health statistics, ICU beds were at 51% last January 8 and rose at 52% last January 9. Isolation beds went from 51% to 50% on the same dates. Ward beds noted an increase from 62% last January 8 to 65% last January 9. Ventilators, on the other hand, registered a decrease from 27% to 26% on the said dates.
“We are consistently monitoring the region’s HCUR rate and we assure that the NCR mayors are ready in case the metrics show the need to escalate Metro Manila to alert level 4,” Abalos said.
Based on monitoring, the Chairman also noted that the public has been self-regulating in the past few days, citing less traffic on the road and lesser people in the malls.
Further, Abalos underscored the importance of vaccination, citing records from the DOH that 85% of critical and severe COVID-19 cases and 93% of deaths are unvaccinated.
As of January 8, there are 11,185,801 individuals or 114.14% who got their first dose while 10,534,251 individuals or 107.49% got their second dose. Meanwhile, a total of 924,593 booster shots were already administered as of the said date. Abalos cited the threat of the Omicron variant as one of the factors that drove booster vaccination rates up.
Meanwhile, Abalos advised asymptomatic to moderate cases to seek medical advice via telemedicine to avoid congestion of hospitals.
He also asked for understanding from the unvaccinated, emphasizing that the MMC resolution restricting the mobility of unvaccinated individuals was aimed to help them and it only applies when Metro Manila is under alert level 3 or higher.
Abalos likewise appealed to the public not to panic, assuring them that the DOH, Inter-agency Task Force, and the LGUs are on top of the situation.
“We need the cooperation of all. Let us follow the guidelines set by the DOH and continue to observe minimum health protocols,” he said.