Duque in favor of keeping Alert Level 2 status for now

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 7) — Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said he would prefer to keep the current Alert Level 2 status for now as people are expected to be more mobile during the holidays.

Duque made the comment ahead of the IATF meeting set on Thursday to discuss the issue.

"Para sa akin dapat siguro tama lang manatili muna tayo sa Alert Level 2. Bakit kamo? Unang-una, ang mobility tataas na naman nitong kapaskuhan, alam natin 'yan. At lalo na't nagbabadya ang Omicron variant," he said at the Laging Handa briefing on Tuesday.

[Translation: I think it's right for us to stay Under Alert Level 2. Why? Because we know public mobility will increase during the holidays. And especially with the threat of the Omicron variant.]

RELATED: Metro Manila stays under Alert Level 2 until Dec. 15

Duque did not say whether he would recommend easing into Alert Level 1 after the holidays.

Meanwhile, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año lauded the effectiveness of the alert level system currently being used in the country, given how only a few areas are now under lockdown.

"Makikita po natin sa buong bansa 77 areas lang po ang under sa granular lockdown at ito po ay nasa loob ng 18 LGUs (local government units) at 61 barangays at 99 households lang po ang apektado. Sa NCR (National Capital Region), makikita po natin walo na lang po ang lugar na nandoon sa ilalim ng granular lockdown, at nakakaapekto sa 26 na household at...70 individuals," Año said during the Talk to the People briefing which aired on Tuesday morning.

[Translation: We can see that nationwide, only 77 areas are under granular lockdown and this is within 18 LGUs, 61 barangays and 99 households. In the NCR, only eight areas are under lockdown affecting 26 households and 70 individuals.]

RELATED: Concepcion: Keep Metro Manila under Alert Level 2 until year-end to 'sustain' economy