After more than two years, the Philippines is now ‘low-risk’ for COVID-19, the Department of Health announced on Tuesday (March 15). 

According to DPWH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, one of the reasons for this is the country’s continuous vaccination program.

“Alert level 2 areas continue to increase their vaccination rates to de-escalate to lower alert levels,” she explained. 

Vergeire said the same thing is happening to Metro Manila and 39 other areas, which are continuously peeling back health and safety protocols due to “high vaccination rates and continued adherence to safety protocols have kept our general population protected.”

The undersecretary also took the chance to clarify “Alert Level 0,” a term she says they use “internally.” Vergeire explained that this Alert Level refers to the state wherein COVID-19 will be manageable, specifically the health care system and vaccinations. 

“This is a transitional stage where we can go to the next level or new regime of [this] alert level system,” said. Vergeire stressed that a “Alert Level 0” is “not a final term yet.”

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