Bongbong Marcos keeps COVID-19 alert levels, but many changes eyed by mid-August

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 19) — President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has retained the COVID-19 alert levels for now, but eyes separating the alert levels from restrictions by mid-August, according to Malacañang.

Currently, a higher alert level means more restrictions on the operating capacity of establishments and offices.

Following a meeting with health officials, the Palace on Tuesday said that the Department of Health could release new classifications in the second week of August to be "compatible" with the current milder coronavirus strains.

"We are however thinking, we are studying very closely, and we’ll come to a decision very soon as to decoupling the restrictions from the alert levels,” Marcos said during a meeting with DOH Officer-In-Charge Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Monday.

Vergeire also told Marcos that mid-August is a suitable period to loosen up restrictions to give the medical community ample time to make COVID-19 cases more manageable as the more transmissible Omicron BA.5 continues to spread.

Marcos also advised the DOH that the alert level could be adjusted if the eligible population get their booster shots.

The DOH said that it is working to administer the booster doses to the eligible population before the start of September, the projected period where the country may see an increase in hospital utilization rate.

The DOH remains without a secretary nearly three weeks since Marcos took office on June 30.