COVID-19 cases could hit 2,000 daily by end-July — Duque

COVID-19 cases could hit 2,000 daily by end-July â Duque
Commuters, who are heading to their workplaces, line up at the Nepa Q-Mart station of the EDSA Bus Carousel in Quezon City early Tuesday morning, June 21, 2022, to beat the influx of passengers.
The STAR / Miguel de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — COVID-19 infections in Metro Manila could hit 2,000 per day by the end of July if people continue to disregard public health protocols and if booster uptake remains low, the country’s health chief said Thursday.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said this was based on the projection of the Australian Tuberculosis Modelling Network (AuTuMN).

Cases in the capital region could reach between 800 and 1,200 a day by the end of June, Duque said in an interview with CNN Philippines.

“Pero by the end of July, pwedeng umabot ng 1,500 to 2,000 cases daily and after that magpa-plateau siya to below 1,000,” he said. 

(But by the end of July, cases could reach 1,500 to 2,000 daily and after that, cases will plateau to below 1,000.)

Duque explained this projection was based on assumptions that included decline in people’s compliance with minimum public health standards, low uptake of COVID-19 booster shots, and the presence of fast-spreading Omicron subvariants with immune escape characteristics.

He reminded the public to get vaccinated and receive boosters when eligible.

Over 70 million people have completed vaccination against COVID-19. However, only 14.7 million individuals have gotten booster shots.

The Department of Health earlier said that the country, especially Metro Manila, is seeing the start of another peak in COVID-19. The capital region, home to more than 13 million, is under the lowest alert level until the end of the month.

Duque expressed confidence that the country will be able to manage this renewed spike in cases.

“We’re more agile now. We are more ready. We can manage this,” he said. “The virus will stay, it will remain. So we just have to manage this so the cases and the transmission are low, not enough to overwhelm and overstretch our healthcare system capacity.”

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire reported Wednesday that severe and critical cases only comprised about 11% of total admissions nationwide. — Gaea Katreena Cabico




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