COVID-19: Philippines maintains Alert Level 2, Indonesia plans to produce vaccine in late 2022 hinh anh 1Collecting samples for COVID-19 testing in Manila, the Philippines. (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The Philippines will remain under Alert Level 2, the second most-relaxed in its five-tier COVID-19 alert level system, until January 15; while Indonesia aims to produce its own vaccine against the corona virus in the second half of 2022.

According to Philippines' Cabinet Secretary and acting presidential spokesman Karlo Nograles, under Alert Level 2, the maximum operational capacities for several businesses and activities is 50 percent for indoor venues, and 70 percent for outdoor venues provided all workers of the establishments are fully inoculated against COVID-19.

The Philippines is seeing an increase in COVID-19 infections as more people go out and join gatherings this holiday season, the local Department of Health said. On December 29, it reported 889 additional cases, the highest since November 27.

Local authorities have so far detected four cases of the rapidly-spreading Omicron variant, all among international arrivals.

Meanwhile, in Indonesia, head of the National Agency of Drug and Food Control (BPOM), Penny Lukito, has said that the agency is aiming to start production of the Merah Putih (Red and White) vaccine against the virus in the second half of 2022.

She said the agency will soon issue emergency-use authorisation for booster vaccines. Currently, vaccines that are in the registration process to be used as boosters are Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Zlifivax, and CoronaVac or Biofarma’s COVID-19 vaccine.

The Indonesian Government launched a nationwide vaccination programme on January 13. According to data provided by the Health Ministry, as of December 29, nearly 159,269,210 citizens have received their first COVID-19 jab, while 112,595,665 have been fully vaccinated against the virus.

Indonesia is planning to commence administering the third dose or booster shot in January 2022./.