Philippine President Marcos announces end of Covid-19 public health emergency


Covid-19 is no longer a public health emergency in the Philippines, the country’s President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr has declared.

Marcos issued Proclamation 297, which officially lifts the nationwide declaration of a public health emergency due to Covid-19, according to a statement released on Saturday by the presidential communications office.

This means, “all prior orders, memoranda, and issuances that are effective only during the State of Public Health Emergency shall be deemed withdrawn, revoked or cancelled and shall no longer be in effect”, according to the proclamation.

The Southeast Asian country has been placed under a state of emergency in March 2020, after the first Covid-19 transmission was reported.

With this status now lifted, all government agencies are expected to amend Covid-related policies, rules, and regulations as necessary.

“[They] are also instructed to amend existing or promulgate new issuances, as may be appropriate,” according to a report on the state-run Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Among the health policies that may be impacted by this development is the administration of Covid-19 vaccines.

When Covid struck and jabs became available, the Philippines’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an “emergency use authorisation” (EUA) for the vaccines — and this would be valid only within the declared public health emergency.

Under the latest proclamation, the EUAs issued in 2020 “would remain valid for one year from the date of issuance of Proclamation 297 ‘for the sole purposes of exhausting the remaining vaccines’,” the PNA said.

“The proclamation also states that although Covid-19 remains to be a serious concern for certain subpopulation and requires continued public health response, the country has maintained sufficient health care system capacity and low hospital bed utilisation rates even after the liberalization of Covid-19 health protocols,” said Presidential Communications Office secretary Cheloy Garafil.

Though Covid-19 is no longer a public emergency, Filipinos are urged to remain vigilant and take necessary safety precautions.


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