Another Covid-19 wave in Metro Manila? Fake news, says DOH

MANILA. People wearing face mask and face shields to help curb the spread of Covid-19 ride a bus in Quezon City, Philippines on Wednesday, August 19, 2020.
MANILA. People wearing face mask and face shields to help curb the spread of Covid-19 ride a bus in Quezon City, Philippines on Wednesday, August 19, 2020.AP File

THERE is no credible evidence on the claim of a new coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) wave in Metro Manila, said the Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday, January 4, 2024.

In a statement, the DOH refuted a message circulating online about the alleged resurgence of Covid-19 in the country’s capital and being attributed to Dr. Ruth Divinagracia of St. Luke’s Medical Center.

“There is no credible evidence or official announcement from health authorities supporting the assertion of a surge in Covid-19 cases at the mentioned hospital,” it said.

“The DOH urges the public to rely on information from reputable sources such as the agency and other official health organizations. Misinformation can contribute to unnecessary panic and fear… The DOH continues to enjoin the public to source information only from legitimate sources and platforms such as the health department, which can be accessed through the links and social media handles below,” it added.

The agency warned the public of possible criminal charges against those involved in the proliferation of such “fake news.”

In a separate statement, the DOH said from November to December 2023, the percentage of occupied Intensive Care Units (ICU) beds for Covid-19 cases remained low at only 16 percent at its highest, averaging at 12 percent.

The number of occupied non-ICU beds for Covid-19 cases was also low at 19 percent at its peak during the said period, averaging at 17 percent.

Severe and critical cases among hospital admissions were low at 11 percent.

From December 26 to January 1, 2024, the average Covid-19 cases per day went down by 10 percent as compared to the week prior. Only one percent of these cases were critically ill.

As of January 4, the country has a total of 5,310 active Covid-19 cases.

The health department attributed the low transmission and mild Covid-19 over the holiday season to the continuous observance of preventive measures by the Filipinos, including the use of face masks, going to well-ventilated areas, and staying at home when ill.

“We also have high vaccination coverage. Critical cases are minimized, because eight out of every ten eligible senior citizens are protected by a primary series,” the DOH said.

“Everyone is reminded not to be complacent about Covid-19. We can gather and carry on with our activities, mindful always to choose well-ventilated and good airflow areas. When feeling ill, it is best to stay at home. Choose to wear a mask if you have symptoms, or even if you are healthy but you are vulnerable (of senior age or immunocompromised) or frequently stay with a person who is. Vaccination protects. These same measures work against many other influenza-like and respiratory illnesses,” it added. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)

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