1,745 COVID Cases Logged as DOH Says Metro Manila Ready for Alert Level 1

New restrictions expected to take effect March 1.
Photo/s: Jerome Ascaño

The Philippines on Thursday tallied 1,745 new COVID infections as authorities meet to discuss the possible implementation of Alert Level 1 in Metro Manila.

Tuesday's total brought active cases to 55,079. The Department of Health also reported 188 deaths and 2,045 recoveries.

The positivity rate was at 6.3% meaning that for every 100 people tested, at least six were infected with the coronavirus.

Since the pandemic started in March 2020, the Philippines has in total confirmed 3,657,342 COVID-19 cases, including 3,546,098 recoveries and 56,165 deaths.

Authorities are studying a possible shift to Alert Level 1, the lowest and least strict level in a five-step classification system, as cases go down. Campaigns for the May 9 elections could pose risks, the Department of Local and Interior Government earlier said.

According to Health Sec. Francisco Duque III, the capital region and select areas in the country are ripe for de-escalation to Alert Level 1.

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"Ang NCR, pasado naman na sa mga metrics -- hinog in other words," Duque said in a televised briefing.

The decision to de-escalate the alert level in Metro Manila will consider other factors too, Duque said. The IATF will also discuss the possible de-escalation of other areas to Alert Level 1 by March 1.

Restaurants and shops might say goodbye to plastic barriers soon as the Department of Trade and Industry is studying whether to recommend their removal.

New measures to improve ventilation in closed spaces are being studied in place of the plastic barriers in several establishments, Trade Sec. Ramon Lopez said.

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