3 Ilocos provinces placed under Alert Level 3

The provinces of Pangasinan, La Union, and Ilocos Norte in the Ilocos Region will be under Alert Level 3 status starting January 14 to 31 due to increasing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases.

Department of Health Center for Health Development in the Ilocos Region (DOH-CHD-1) Covid-19 focal person Dr. Rheuel Bobis said the average number of new cases in the region is now at 373 daily from just eight cases daily last December and 111 in the first week of January this year.

“This could be attributed to many people going out and gathering during the holiday season when the travel restrictions were relaxed,” he said in a virtual presser of the Philippine Information Agency Ilocos Region on Thursday.

Ilocos Sur province will remain under Alert Level 2.

Bobis said the utilization rates in the Covid-19 dedicated beds in the region as of January 12 increased by 4 percent and is now at 47 percent although it is still at the “safe zone”.

He reminded the public to follow the guidelines set under the Alert Level 3 system.

Face-to-face classes for basic education, contact sports, funfairs, kid amusement industries, indoor entertainment, gaming establishments, and gathering of not from the same household are not allowed, Bobis said.

“Social events and meetings indoors should only be at 30-percent capacity and 50 percent for outdoor for fully vaccinated individuals only,” he said.

Intrazonal and interzonal travels are allowed but are subjected to the guidelines of the local government units, he added.

Meanwhile, Bobis does not discount the possibility that the high cases might be due to the presence of the Omicron variant in the region. However, there is still no reported confirmed case of the variant as of January 12.

“We should expect the worst so we can prepare for it. There is still no official result but we are already preparing for it,” he said.

He also warned the public that the Omicron variant could still cause severe and critical effects.

As of January 12, there are 647 new Covid-19 cases, bringing active cases to 2,286 out of the 96,506 total confirmed cases in the region, while 91,923 have recovered.

Bobis said most of the Covid-19 cases are between the 25 to 34 years old age group but the fatalities are still at the elderly age group.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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