37 areas under highest alert due to rise in COVID-19 cases, bed occupancy rates

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 6) — Thirty-seven areas, including eight Metro Manila cities and municipality, are under the highest "Alert Level 4" due to an increase in their COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, the Department of Health said Friday.

An area is under this alert status if its case classification is moderate-to-critical risk and the COVID-19 beds are more than 70% occupied, regardless of the presence of the Delta variant, according to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

Under Alert Level 4 are:

National Capital Region

Muntinlupa, Las Piñas, Pateros, Malabon, Taguig, Quezon City, Makati, San Juan

Cordillera

Apayao, Baguio City, Benguet

Ilocos Region

Ilocos Norte

Cagayan Valley

Cagayan, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino

Central Luzon

Angeles City, Bataan, Olongapo City, Pampanga, Tarlac

Calabarzon

Batangas, Laguna, Cavite, Quezon, Lucena City

Western Visayas

Iloilo, Iloilo City

Central Visayas

Cebu, Cebu City, Lapu Lapu City, Mandaue City

Eastern Visayas

Tacloban City

Northern Mindanao

Bukidnon, Cagayan de Oro City, Camiguin

Davao Region

Davao City

Soccsksargen

General Santos City

Vergeire advised the affected areas to take the following actions to manage their COVID-19 situation:

- impose granular lockdowns

- use rapid antigen test to find active cases in areas where Delta variant is present

- increase hospital beds especially in intensive care units of Levels 2 and 3 hospitals

- ensure enough oxygen supply

- immediately and properly refer severe and critical cases to medical facilities

Meanwhile, 42 areas are under Alert Level 3, 32 are under Alert Level 2, and nine are under Alert Level 1.

Under Alert Level 3 are those with soaring cases and a 50 to 70% bed occupancy rate.

Alert Level 2 indicates that while cases are decreasing and the bed utilization rate is below 50%, the Delta variant has been detected in an area.

A locality will also be placed under this alert level if it experiences any of the following:

- decline in cases but the occupancy rate is above 50%

- has few but increasing cases

An area is under the lowest alert status if it does not have a local Delta case, has a declining number of infections, and less than 50% of its COVID-19 beds are utilized.

Vergeire explained why they introduced a warning system.

"These alert levels will give us triggers kung ano na ang kailangan na nating gawin at saka kung ano ang mga flagged areas natin (to tell us what we need to do and know which are our flagged areas)," she said.