Palace promise ‘new normal’ PH by end of Duterte’s term

People walk in the afternoon heat in Quezon City on March 23, 2022. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/Dossier

MANILA – The government will “use everything” in its power to see the Philippines reach a “new normal” by the end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term, Malacañang said on Friday.

The Palace’s acting deputy spokesman Kris Ablan said the country also aims to fully vaccinate 100% of the eligible population against COVID-19 by June.

“We will use everything in our power to achieve 100% vaccination and return to our new normal before the president steps down on June 30,” Ablan said during a press briefing.

The COVID-19 task force has yet to issue guidelines for the new normal, but officials have floated the idea of ​​an “Alert Level 0”.

Under-Secretary of the Interior Epimaco Densing said last month that under said quarantine level, COVID-19 could be treated like a regular flu, with local governments having more power to manage rising cases.

It is also important, he said, that persistent respiratory disease be declared endemic.

The Philippines has continued to record fewer than 400 daily COVID-19 cases for the past 6 days, according to data analyzed by the ABS-CBN Data Analytics team.

The government has fully vaccinated some 65.8 million people, or 73.11% of the target. The government aims to fully vaccinate 90 million people by the end of June.

Metro Manila and 197 regions in the country are under the loosest Level 1 alert status, which requires a region to have a relatively high COVID-19 vaccination rate and low healthcare utilization. risk.

Only 57 areas have yet to be defused to Alert Level 1, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

“So always remember that for us to ensure that the population will be adequately protected despite the easing of restrictions, vaccination must be high to protect and protect,” she said at the same briefing.

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