K-pop song ‘Next Level’ used to raise COVID-19 concerns amid new alert level scheme

September 15, 2021 - 3:39 PM
A photo of four-member Kpop girl group Aespa via Instagram (Instagram/Aespa)

A lawmaker referenced a Korean girl group’s hit song to call for ramped-up testing, tracing and other measures from the government amid the coming implementation of the new quarantine system.

Last Monday, Rep. Sarah Elago (Kabataan Party-List) shared  a GIF of new Kpop group Aespa and mentioned their song “Next Level” in her tweet.

The gif featured part of the group’s choreography on Next Level’s music video that was released last May.

In her tweet, Elago likened the title of the song to her call for mass testing, contact tracing, financial aid and other measures to help Filipinos who will be affected by the government’s new system.

“Next level naman sa pagtitiyak ng libreng mass testing, agarang contact tracing, paggamot sa maysakit, pagbabakuna, at pamimigay ng ayuda!” Elago wrote.

“Kahit ano pong alert level system ay hindi gagana kung walang mass testing at contact tracing para sa malinaw at siyentipikong batayan ng klasipikasyon,” she added.

This was the same demand of Vice President Leni Robredo, some health workers and other concerned Filipinos when the government first announced this proposed quarantine policy to the public.

They noted that cordoning off certain areas in the National Capital Region, which still has the highest concentration of COVID-19 infections, will not work unless the basic formula in preventing transmissions—testing, contact tracing, isolation and treatment—will improve.

READ: Robredo joins calls for ramped-up testing, contact tracing amid pending granular lockdowns 

Elago’s tweet later reached some Filipino fans of Aespa and cheered her for it. Aespa’s official fan club name is “MY.”

“Basta aespa, tama yan,” one fan said.

“Ang witty mo sa part na’to miss sarah T___T stan aespa!” another fan wrote.

Aespa is a four-member girl group in South Korea who debuted in 2020 under SM Entertainment. The names of the members are Karina, Winter, Ningning and Giselle.

Alert level 4

Elago also retweeted a report about the guidelines on the government’s scheme called “Alert Levels System for COVID-19 Response” in pilot areas in Metro Manila released by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Its implementation will start from Sept. 16 to 30, 2021.

There are four classifications of alert levels, which are:

Alert Level 1: Case transmission is low and decreasing

Alert Level 2: Case transmission is low and decreasing, but total bed utilization rate and intensive care unit admission are increasing

Alert Level 3: Case counts are high and increasing

Alert Level 4: Case counts are high and alarming with bed utilization rate and ICU rate at critical levels

This is also different from the granular lockdowns that the local government units can impose on “critical zones” regardless of the locality’s alert level.

Metro Manila is currently under Alert Level 4.

The varying rules stated under both the granular lockdown and alert level caused alarm and confusion among social media users.

READ: Safety concerns aired amid confusion over alert level system, granular lockdown scheme

Some Filipino online users even previously thought that the alert level pertained to the alert level status in volcanoes.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology had long been using an alert level system to describe the statuses of volcanic activities in the country.

READ: A volcano warning? Declaration of Alert Level 4 of GCQ in NCR ensues confusion, ‘panic’