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MANILA, Jan 12 (Mabuhay) — Malacañang said Tuesday that the government is prepared should the alert level in Metro Manila be upgraded from level 3 to level 4 due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

Acting presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles made the response when asked if the government can afford shifting to Alert Level 4 protocol for Metro Manila, the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Metro Manila recorded 100,087 new COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks based on data from the Department of Health.

“Yes, [we can afford it]. We’ve been preparing our hospitals. Which is why there’s a call to increase their capacities and of our TTMFs (Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facilities),” Nograles said.

“We’re doing real-time updates on our health workers [and their] augmentation,” he added.

The Palace official earlier said that there is no need for Metro Manila to shift to Alert Level 4 from Alert Level 3 just yet since the healthcare utilization in the region has not reached the moderate risk level which is 71%.

Nograles on Tuesday maintained this position, even if the country posted 33,169 new COVID-19 cases on January 10, the highest number since the pandemic started in March 2020.

“We still haven’t reached the threshold,” Nograles added. (MNS)

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