COVID-19 case spike? IATF studying next classifications
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. yesterday said the numbers as of Jan. 20 went up, reflecting 28,904 active cases.
The STAR/Edd Gumban, file

COVID-19 case spike? IATF studying next classifications

Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) - January 22, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang expressed concern over the increase in the number of active COVID cases in the country after swab results of those infected during the Christmas holidays started to trickle in.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. yesterday said the numbers as of Jan. 20 went up, reflecting 28,904 active cases.

But the Palace official remains
optimistic that the government can manage the cases since 92.5 percent are considered mild and asymptomatic.

About 4.5 percent are deemed critical while 2.6 percent are classified as severe.

The Philippines recorded 466,993 recoveries, accounting for a 92.3 percent recovery rate.

Around 10,042 were recorded as COVID-19 related deaths, which translates to 1.98 percent fatality rate.

Roque said the numbers still did not reflect possible infections caused by the gathering of large groups of people who marked the Feast of the Black Nazarene or Traslacion on Jan. 9.

He reiterated the need for the public to adhere to strict protocols, especially now that the government is still negotiating for the acquisition of vaccines.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. is planning to deploy over 140 million doses to be rolled out by next month with an initial 50,000 coming from China.

Despite the increase in the past days of COVID-19 cases, Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has yet to issue new quarantine classification for the country.

He reiterated that data analytics would dictate the quarantine classification for the National Capital Region (NCR) and the rest of the country in the next few weeks.

Roque said the quarantine classification will “not really be on a national basis.”

“It would be on a local basis. But as I said, that will be discussed because the DOH (Department of Health) will still need to present their latest analytics in the next IATF meeting,” Roque said.

Rising cases

Confirmed COVID cases nationwide rose to 507,717 with the addition of 1,783 cases yesterday, according to the Department of Health.

DOH said 92.1 percent or 467,475 of the total cases have recuperated from the illness. The figure included 500 additional recoveries.

Active cases that were accounted for remain at 30,126 or 5.9 percent of total cases. A vast majority or 92.8 percent of the active cases are mild and asymptomatic.

Quezon City posted the highest number of new cases with 99, followed by Rizal with 83 and Manila with 78.

With 69 cases, Bulacan ranked fourth in the list of areas with high new cases, followed by Cavite with 66.

Additional 74 deaths brought to 10,116 the total number of COVID-related deaths. Mortalities represent 1.99 percent of total cases.

Four laboratories failed to submit data to the COVID-19 Data Repository System (CDRS) on Jan. 20.

The DOH also reported a rising prevalence of COVID cases in several regions outside Metro Manila.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the DOH is closely monitoring the regions with increasing trend of COVID cases.

“One of the major assumption for the increase in the cases is that this is the effect of the holiday season,” Vergeire said, adding there are other factors leading to the increase in cases and one of them is the failure to comply with minimum health protocol.

In a virtual briefing yesterday, DOH-Epidemiology Bureau medical specialist Alethea de Guzman said they have observed a continuous uptrend of COVID cases in the Bicol and Ilocos regions, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and Soccskasargen (South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos).

De Guzman said Cagayan Valley, Caraga, Central Luzon, Central Visayas, Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Davao region, Northern Mindanao and Zamboanga Peninsula recorded a positive trend following months of negative.

Negative trend remains in the NCR, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) and Western Visayas.

Eastern Visayas posted improvement from positive to a negative trend.

“After consistent slowing decrease in cases, we are now seeing an increase in cases since the first week of January,” Vergeire said.

She said cases are increasing at the national level with an attack rate of 1.43 percent.

Based on data, De Guzman said increase in cases was prominent outside Metro Manila.

She said the increase is still manageable as health capacity utilization remains low, except in CAR.

“The coming weeks will give us better picture of our situation in COVID,” she said.

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