THE Department of Health (DOH) said it is not discounting the possibility of suspending the elections in areas where COVID-19 cases continue to rise until the day of the elections.
During the Laging Handa public briefing, DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said that even if this scenario is possible, there is still the need to implemented the alert level system.
This means the suspension of elections in other areas is still dependent on the alert level of an area through the use of metrics.
Duque reminded that among the metrics they are monitoring that will become the basis in the assignment of an alert level are the two-week growth rate, Average Daily Attack Rate (ADAR), and healthcare utilization rate.
For now, Duque said that although they are seeing a slow build-up of growth rates in some areas, this is not enough to escalate to Alert Level 2.
He said they have not yet recorded numbers that may reach the threshold of metrics
He pointed to the province of Marinduque as an example, where even if the growth rate there is high, the ADAR is only at 0.35 per 100 thousand population, while the healthcare utilization rate is also low so this can still be considered as low-risk classification.
However, if his suggestions were to be followed, Duque said that individuals with symptoms of the disease should not be allowed to go out and vote so as not to spread the virus, even those who are under quarantine.