Monday, November 29, 2021

Philippines now ‘low risk’ for Covid-19

MANILA. A reminder stands beside a long line of people wearing protective masks outside a supermarket during a community quarantine to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus in Manila, Philippines on April 1, 2020. (AP)

THE Philippines is now classified as “low risk” for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) following the drop of its hospital utilization rate, average daily attack rate (Adar) and Covid-19 growth rate, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Monday, October 25, 2021.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a virtual press conference Monday that the country’s two-week growth rate decreased to -48 percent, while the Adar dipped by more than half of 5.89 for every 100,000 as compared to the 11.41 in the previous week.

She said the Adar and the national health system capacity were both at moderate risk with 41.15 percent bed utilization rate, 37.65 percent mechanical ventilation utilization rate, and 53.15 percent intensive care unit utilization rate.

Vergeire said there was also a 32 percent decrease on the average daily reported Covid-19 cases from 7,726 in October 11-17 period, to 5,251 for October 18 to 24.

She said the average daily cases reached baseline cases prior to the surge experienced starting end of July.

But Vergeire said Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Zamboanga Peninsula, Cordillera Administrative Region, Mimaropa and National Capital Region remain at high risk based on Adar.

She said the ICU utilization rates in Cagayan Valley, Zamboanga Peninsula and Bicol were also still at high risk.

“Remaining regions have low to moderate beds and/ or ICU utilization,” Vergeire said.

Vergeire noted the slow downward trend in the average daily reported cases in the NCR, the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.

“In NCR, the seven-day moving average shows a decrease as cases in the recent seven days have decreased compared to the previous seven days by 500 cases or 35 percent. The seven-day moving average is currently 945,” Vergeire said.

“Along with the decline of our cases, we see that the weekly deaths are also in a downtrend since the start of October. Highest October deaths were in August with 5,189 deaths or 167 deaths per day,” she added.

As of October 24, the DOH recorded a total of 2,756,923 Covid-19 cases, in which 5,279 were fresh infections, while 60,957 were active cases.

The country’s Covid-19 death toll was at 41,793.

Vergeire said the decrease in the numbers cannot be the basis to consider Covid-19 as endemic in the country.

“Ngunit sa ngayon, mukhang hindi pa natin made-deklara na endemic na siya, 'no? Kailangan natin pag-aralan maigi, lalung-lalo na nagmu-mutate itong virus na ito every so often,” she said. (SunStar Philippines)


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