DOH: Philippines, Metro Manila down to 'high risk' for COVID-19

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
DOH: Philippines, Metro Manila down to 'high risk' for COVID-19
A passenger sits inside a bus next to signage that reads "No Vaccine No Ride" in Quezon City, suburban Manila on January 17, 2022, as the Philippine government banned unvaccinated people from using public transport amid a record surge in coronavirus cases.
AFP / Jam Sta. Rosa

MANILA, Philippines — The risk classifications of the Philippines and Metro Manila for COVID-19 have been downgraded to high from critical, the Department of Health said.

In a briefing with President Rodrigo Duterte aired late Monday, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the growth rate of cases nationwide from January 11 to 24 went down to 176% from 3,361%.

However, the country registered an average daily attack rate of 28.46 per 100,000 individuals.

Meanwhile, the two week growth rate in Metro Manila, the epicenter of the surge driven by the Omicron variant, declined to 65% from 7,225%. But the average daily attack rate was still high at 84.56 per 100,000 people.

According to Duque, COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila and surrounding provinces have been decreasing, while the remaining areas in Luzon are showing signs of plateauing.

The health chief earlier said that the surge in Metro Manila has already reached its peak.

The government’s pandemic task force will meet on Thursday to discuss the possible de-escalation of the alert level in the capital region. Metro Manila is currently under Alert Level 3.

Aside from Metro Manila, Soccsksargen, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and Mimaropa were also deemed at high risk from COVID-19.

Under critical risk classification were Bicol region, Cordillera Administrative Region, Western Visayas, Davao region, Cagayan Valley, Northern Mindanao, Zamboanga Peninsula, Ilocos region, Caraga, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Calabarzon, and Central Luzon.

The country’s healthcare utilization rate was at moderate risk, with total bed use at 52.1% and intensive care unit utilization at 49.33%.

Daily cases reached record highs this month following the detection of local cases of the hyper-contagious Omicron variant. 

The DOH has reported 3.44 million COVID-19 cases since the pandemic started. Currently, there are 262,997 active cases.

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