New COVID-19 cases projected to hit 4,000 on New Year's Day, peak may surpass Delta wave

New COVID-19 cases projected to hit 4,000 on New Year's Day, peak may surpass Delta wave
Filipino shoppers flock to Quiapo in Manila City on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021 to purchase round fruits and other goods in preparation for New Year's Day celebrations.
The STAR / Walter Bollozos

MANILA, Philippines — Independent projections forecast that new COVID-19 cases may hit 4,000 on New Year’s Day while the peak of this new spike in infections, which is suspected to be driven by the more infectious Omicron variant, might surpass the Delta wave.

Guido David of the private think tank OCTA Research Group said on Twitter that the Philippines may log 4,000 new cases on Saturday, including 3,000 new infections in Metro Manila alone.

David said the positivity rate in Metro Manila jumped to 20.56% on December 30, while the reproduction number increased to 3.19 as of December 28.

The positivity rate measures how many people tested positive for the virus, while the reproduction number estimates how many people can get infected from one person.

“[Metro Manila] remained at moderate risk, but is likely to be classified as high risk by January 2, 2022,” Guido said.

Jomar Rabajante of the University of the Philippines COVID-19 Pandemic Response Team, meanwhile, projects that the peak of this new surge in cases might surpass the Delta wave which saw a peak of over 26,000 cases in September.

Rabajante said that the peak may be between 20,000 to 40,000 cases, which may happen sometime between mid-January to the third week of February.

Despite this, he said that hospitalization and deaths will not be as high as the Alpha or Delta waves.

“So do not be complacent, protect yourselves and your loved ones,” Rabajante said.

The Philippines is facing another spike in coronavirus infections which the government has attributed to laxer compliance to minimum public health standards such as mask wearing and the possibility of local transmission of the highly infectious Omicron variant. — Xave Gregorio

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