Twenty-eight more cities and provinces will be elevated to a higher Alert Level 3 from January 14 to 31, Malacañang announced recently.
Acting Presidential Spokesperson, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) decided to raise these cities and provinces to Alert Level 3 status amid the rise of Covid-19 cases in the country.
In Luzon, the cities and provinces under Alert Level 3 are: Benguet, Kalinga and Abra in Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR); La Union, Ilocos Norte and Pangasinan in Region 1 (Ilocos); Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela and Quirino in Region 2 (Cagayan Valley); Nueva Ecija and Tarlac in Region 3 (Central Luzon); Quezon Province in Region 4-A (Calabarzon); Occidental Mindoro and Oriental Mindoro in Region 4-B (Mimaropa); and Camarines Sur and Albay in Region 5 (Bicol).
Cities and provinces under Alert Level 3 in Visayas are: Bacolod City, Aklan, Capiz and Antique in Region 6 (Western Visayas); Cebu City and Mandaue City in Region 7 (Central Visayas); and Tacloban City in Region 8 (Eastern Visayas).
In Mindanao, cities and provinces under Alert Level 3 are: Cagayan de Oro City in Region 10 (Northern Mindanao); Davao City in Region 11 (Davao); Butuan City and Agusan del Sur in Caraga; and Cotabato City in Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
All other provinces and cities not mentioned shall remain under their current alert level classification.
On January 6, the IATF also raised the following cities and provinces to Alert Level 3: Baguio City (CAR), Dagupan City (Ilocos Region); City of Santiago and Cagayan (Cagayan Valley); Angeles City, Bataan, Olongapo City, Pampanga, and Zambales (Central Luzon); Batangas and Lucena City (Calabarzon); Naga City (Bicol); Iloilo City in (Western Visayas); and Lapu-lapu City (Central Visayas).
National Capital Region (NCR) Plus, composed of Metro Manila and the nearby provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, is also under Alert Level 3.
On Wednesday, the Philippines recorded 32,246 new Covid-19 cases bringing the country’s total caseload to 3,058,634.
Recoveries reached 2,797,816 with 5,063 more people getting better while deaths rose to 52,654 after 144 more succumbed to the disease.
Despite calls to make Covid-19 testing more affordable if not free, Malacañang maintained that targeted or responsible testing should be carried out to control the spread of the disease.
“Responsible testing po yung ginagawa natin kasi (We are conducting responsible testing because) we have to be mindful na hindi unlimited po ang resources ng pamahalaan at ng Pilipinas (that the resources of government are not unlimited). And we have to be smart in where we will put our resources,” Nograles said in a Palace press briefing. (PNA)