Puerto Princesa City health officials predicted that active COVID-19 cases will be less than 100 by March this year, and are confident that it is the right time to relax travel measures and public health protocols.

As of Tuesday, February 15, there are 843 active cases in Puerto Princesa.

The City Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) recently declared that mandatory quarantine is no longer required for inbound travelers, regardless of their vaccination status after the Puerto Princesa was placed under Alert Level 2 on Monday. Tourists are now also allowed to stay for more than four days in Puerto Princesa, but are still under the travel bubble setup.

City Incident Management Team (IMT) Dr. Dean Palanca said based on their data, while the number of patients testing positive for COVID-19 is still high, many are also recovering.

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“Kung makikita natin ang pangatlo nating surge, ‘yong Omicron variant surge natin, almost two months lang talaga ‘yan. Nag-start tayo noong January, at ngayong middle of February pababa nang pababa ang mga kaso. Nakikita naming na halos pagtapos ng February, maaring nasa less than 100 ang ating kaso,” Palanca said in a live briefing on Tuesday.

“At least matutuwa na ang iba nating mga stakeholders, lalo na ang business sector, na patapos na ang ating problema dito sa pangatlong surge natin,” he added.

Palanca’s presentation during the briefing also showed that the third and latest COVID-19 surge in Puerto Princesa City lasted for only six weeks, compared to the first surge that lasted for four months and the second surge that lasted for three months. All surges happened in 2021, the first one due to the South African variant, the second due to the Delta variant, and the third due to the Omicron variant.

Palanca also cautioned people to still wear masks in public spaces and observe social distancing. He also announced that the city will begin vaccinating minors aged 5 to 11 and encouraged parents to have their children vaccinated as well.

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is a senior reporter for Palawan News who covers politics, education, environment, tourism, and human interest stories. She loves watching Netflix, reading literary fiction, and listens to serial fiction podcasts. Her favorite color is blue.