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DOH projects COVID-19 cases to peak end-January, may surpass Delta spike

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DOH projects COVID-19 cases to peak end-January, may surpass Delta spike
People visit a park in Quezon City, east of Manila on New Year's Day on January 1, 2022.
AFP / Jam Sta. Rosa

MANILA, Philippines — The current spike in COVID-19 cases assumed to be driven by the highly infectious Omicron coronavirus variant might peak by the end of the month and may surpass the previous wave of infections caused by the Delta variant, according to initial projections from the Department of Health.

"We have initial projections which state that at the end of January, cases will peak," Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told CNN Philippines’ "The Source" on Tuesday.

Vergeire, however, refused to provide further details on the projected peak of infections, including how many more cases are expected, as their figures are only "rough estimates.”

The peak during the previous wave of infections driven by Delta beginning in August hit over 26,000.

Vergeire added that they project that cases will slowly decline once they hit their peak.

The DOH’s projections slightly differ from that of statistician Jomar Rabajante of the University of the Philippines COVID-19 Pandemic Response Team, who projected that the peak might happen between mid-January to the third week of February with 20,000 to 40,000 cases.

Vergeire said that projections can still change, depending on the response of the public and local governments.

"Even though there are projections, these numbers will be affected and can be prevented if we can be able to ramp up our efforts of prevention in cutting the transmission in our communities," she said.

New coronavirus infections have gone up from just 318 to 4,084 in a week, which the government blamed on the public’s supposed failure to follow minimum public health standards such as wearing masks and the presence of the Omicron variant.

Since new cases rose, some hospitals are reporting increasing admissions of people with COVID-19 while some drugstores are saying that they no longer have stocks of cough, cold and fever medicines. — Xave Gregorio

COVID-19 PANDEMIC

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

OMICRON VARIANT

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