Marcos: No need to adjust COVID-19 health status after WHO declaration

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 12) — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said there is no need to change the country's COVID-19 health status after the World Health Organization (WHO) lifted the global state of public health emergency.

"We did not restore the emergency status of the Philippines. Matagal na (We did it some time ago), last year pa. So we don’t need to do anything. We are already on normal footing," he told reporters during his flight back to Manila on Thursday.

He also underscored that the Philippines no longer requires the presentation of COVID-19 vaccine certifications and has instead opted to use an e-pass to simplify international travel requirements.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) is set to submit its recommendations on COVID-19 to the Office of the President next week following the WHO declaration.

In policy, the Philippines has had two proclamations regarding the viral disease: the state of public health emergency declared by former President Rodrigo Duterte in March 2020, and the state of calamity which is an executive order that lapsed last Dec. 31.

The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday said the report which the IATF will submit will include the task force’s position on the lifting of the state of public health emergency.

“The DOH, along with other members of the task force, is finalizing its recommendations through a draft proclamation, including the development of a Pandemic Preparedness Plan,” its statement read.

The department on Tuesday reminded the public that the pandemic is not yet over despite the WHO declaration, saying Filipinos must remain vigilant against the virus.

Earlier this week, the DOH reported an average of 1,352 daily cases, reflecting a 112% increase from April 24 to 30.