By Rey Anthony Chiu | 08:16 PM March 05, 2022
If local vaccinations continue to lag and the hesitance people have on accepting the vaccine to stop the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19), then it may be long before Bohol could transition to Alert Level 1, where except for wearing tight fitting masks, all other restrictions are stripped.
This as the Inter-Agency task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease is considering the vaccination status of a place as a factor in downgrading Alert Levels against Covid.
As to the IATF, a region must be able to vaccinate 80% of its senior citizens and 70 percent of its target population against Covid-19, to achieve a less restrictive alert level.
In Bohol, Governor Arthur Yap on Tuesday March 1, issued Executive Order No 11, series of 2022, extending the Alert Level 2 Classification for COVID-19 Response in Bohol from march 1-15, in line with the recent IATF Resolution.
In its February 27, 2022 meeting, the IATF issued Resolution No 163-A, series of 2022 approving the recommendation of the Sub Technical Working Group on Data Analytics placing Bohol as with other areas in the country under their respective Alert Levels from March 1-15.
That Resolution placed Bohol and 67 other areas in the country under Alert Level 2 and the National Capital region and 38 other areas in the country under Alert level 1.
It may be recalled that Bohol has kept the Alert Level 2 Classification for COVID-19 response since February 16, 2022.
The province used to be under Alert Level 3 Classification for Covid response and as the local Covid situation improved, it gained the an upgrade with the February 16 Alert Level 2 classification.
For the Alert Level 2 Classification, the governor has also issued and earlier order in 2021, adopting the national COVID Alert System as the new Community Quarantine Classification for dealing with Covid- 19, as issued by the IATF in its Guidelines on the Implementation of Alert levels.
Even then, the governor highlighted the need for reminding the public of the continued observance of the minimum public health and safety protocols, even with a relatively stable Covid situation here.
But for businessmen and for the sake of the local economy, An Alert Level 1 Classification would be an ideal state for Bohol which is now picking up from the tourism slump.
Under Alert Level 1, the IATF said there are no more restrictions in terms of indoor and outdoor capacities, unlike the limited acceptance of customers implemented under Alert level 2.
Under Alert level 1 also, everyone can undertake intra-zonal and inter-zonal travel without regard to age and even comorbidities.
This would bolster local travel and could spell a quicker recovery for Bohol’s economy, which had been reeling from Covid restrictions, and is getting another severe whipping from the super typhoon that devastated key public and private infrastructure.
As of February 27, however, in its Covid-19 Vaccination Report, Bohol has registered 58% of its target 70% for vaccination.
While this is a general figure, vaccinating 70% the very vulnerable senior citizens and individuals with comorbidities remain a dream, with the elections looming and people getting Covid-information fatigue. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)