Daily COVID-19 cases may decline to 429 by December — DOH

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Daily COVID-19 cases may decline to 429 by December â DOH
A woman stands on a rooftop during sunset in Manila on November 25, 2022.
AFP / Jam Sta. Rosa

MANILA, Philippines — The number of COVID-19 infections in the Philippines may go down to around 400 a day by December if people continue to comply with public health safeguards, the Department of Health said Tuesday.

Citing the projections of FASSSTER (Feasibility Analysis of Syndromic Surveillance Using Spatio-Temporal Epidemiological ModeleR) team, DOH Epidemiology Bureau director Alethea de Guzman said there may be around 429 COVID-19 cases per day nationally “if our current minimum public health compliance remains the same.”

De Guzman, however, warned that there may be 1,140 to 2,294 daily infections by the end of the year if compliance with health protocols is further reduced. The number of active cases may also reach 18,000 next month.

“The holiday is coming, so it’s possible that interactions will increase. Social distancing will decrease and compliance with masking will decrease,” she said in Filipino.

The health official added that the number of hospitalizations will also likely rise if a variant with immune-escape characteristics or that is highly transmissible enters the country. The Department of Health reported last week the detection of BQ.1, a sublineage of the highly transmissible Omicron BA.5 subvariant.

But De Guzman stressed that the entry of a new variant “will not translate to significant increases in our hospitalization.”

“The highest number will be around 800 admission and these are National Capital Region data,” she said, noting the highest number of admissions during the Delta surge was around 1,272.

“We can prevent that by increasing our vaccinations,” De Guzman added.

Epidemiologist John Wong stressed the need to better enforce indoor air quality standards, especially since mask rules are now eased.

“Homeowners, owners of buildings need to improve their ventilation, and the government needs to enforce the indoor air quality standards more strictly,” Wong said.

The DOH recorded 8,032 additional COVID-19 cases from November 21 to 27, averaging 1,147 infections a day. The figure was 0.3% higher than the number of cases logged from a week before.

The Philippines has confirmed more than 4 million COVID-19 cases, with over 64,000 deaths, since the start of the pandemic. 





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