Filipino authorities are discussing the implementation of an Alert Level 0 wherein local governments will be in charge of managing COVID-19 as an endemic disease, calling on the national government for help only when needed, an interior official said.
Alert Level 0 is being discussed but the details have yet to be threshed out, Interior Usec. Epimaco Densing told a televised government briefing. Thirty-nine areas, including Metro Manila, are under Alert Level 1, meaning only face masks, hand hygiene and vaccine cards for select indoor gatherings are required.
Densing said Alert Level 0 would form part of the fifth National Action Plan against COVID-19, which would focus on recovery from the pandemic. A State of Calamity due to COVID remains in place until September 2022, he said.
"Ang magiging pananaw na natin sa COVID-19 ay siyang ordinaryong sakit na lang o parang flu na lamang na nadadanas natin ng normal at regular," Densing said.
Alert Level 1 has enabled businesses to operate at full capacity and employers have also asked employees to resume on-site work.
COVID-19 can be considered endemic when cases are manageable and the community lives with the disease as part of everyday life, like dengue or measles, Health Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire said in February.
"Dadating tayo doon sa state na endemic na siya dito sa ating bansa kung ang mataas na pagbabakuna natin o natural immunity, plus the fact na manageable, predictable, stable na ang mga kaso sa ating bansa o sa buong mundo dahil pandemic is worldwide," she told reporters.