MANILA -- The Department of Health (DOH) further clarifies its risk classification metrics based on national healthcare capacity, in light of the US-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US-CDC)’s Travel Health Notice on the Philippines as a Level 3 destination due to its “high-level” of COVID-19.
The Philippines uses a different set of metrics to determine COVID-19 risk classifications in the country, compared to the metrics used by the US-CDC. Their metrics serve to alert travelers about health threats around the world, and advise on how to keep from getting infected. US-CDC metrics use the number of cases over the past 28 days per 100,000 population, triangulated with their testing data (which pertains to both testing rate and test-to-case ratio).
In the Philippines, in addition to using Average Daily Attack Rate (ADAR) in the recent two weeks, we also put more focus on our healthcare system capacity. We also consider our total beds utilization rate and vaccination coverage in determining Alert Levels for specific areas in the country. At present, the country remains at low risk classification in terms of both the ADAR and total beds utilization rate.
The Department also reiterates that we have aligned our metrics with most of the other countries in terms of travel restrictions. As stated in Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Resolution No. 168, series of 2022, we allow foreign nationals to enter the country as long as they are able to prove that they are fully-vaccinated against COVID-19.
Our current situation is far from the early stages of the pandemic in 2020 wherein risk classifications were used to restrict border entry into countries - especially for leisure travelers. At present, almost all borders around the world are now open. With this, the DOH highlights the importance of a stronger vaccination campaign to build and reinforce our country’s wall of immunity.
“Now that we are seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases, it is important and crucial that we keep Filipinos safe and protected against severe and critical forms of the disease. The Department reiterates that vaccination, coupled with strict adherence to minimum public health standards, is key to prevent further virus transmission,” underscored DOH Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire. (DOH)