MANILA, PHILIPPINES — President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has officially lifted the state of public health emergency declared due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
On Friday, Marcos issued Proclamation 297, lifting the public health emergency of Covid-19 that was declared nationwide, said Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Secretary Cheloy Garafil.
“All prior orders, memoranda, and issuances that are effective only during the State of Public Health Emergency shall be deemed withdrawn, revoked or canceled and shall no longer be in effect,” as stated in the proclamation.
Under Proclamation 297, all government agencies have to take into account the lifted state of public health emergency into their policies, rules, and regulations. Additionally, government agencies are directed to issue new or modify current regulations as necessary.
According to Garafil, any emergency use authorisation (EUA) issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under Executive Order (EO) 121 issued in 2020 will be valid for one year following the release of Proclamation 297 “for the sole purposes of exhausting the remaining vaccines.”
The FDA is permitted by EO 131 to provide EUAs for Covid-19 vaccinations, but only while the declared public health emergency is in effect.
“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 utilization rates even after the liberalization of Covid-19 health protocols,” Garafil stated.
The World Health Organization (WHO) International Health Regulations Emergency Committee noted the decrease in hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions, the trend toward fewer deaths related to COVID, and the high levels of population immunity to SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) on May 4 of this year.
In May, Marcos said the country is already “on normal footing” after the WHO lifted the global state of public health emergency. – WhatALife!/Zain
Also read: Marcos’ State of the Nation Address 2023