DOH: COVID-19 cases mild, manageable

Delon Porcalla - The Philippine Star
DOH: COVID-19 cases mild, manageable
Commuters flock to LRT and MRT stations in EDSA-Taft, Pasay City as they return from Holy Week break on April 1, 2024.
STAR / Ryan Baldemor

MANILA, Philippines — Cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines remain mild and manageable amid flagged Omicron subvariants like KP.2 and KP.3 that have likely entered the country, according to the Department of Health (DOH). 

“The average number of daily reported cases for the week of May 14 to 20 is 202, less than half compared to around 500 per day at the start of this year and also compared to around 1,750 per day in the middle of May 2023,” the DOH said. 

All regions remain at low risk for COVID-19.

As of May 18, the average daily reported severe, critical and intensive care unit COVID-19 admissions were much fewer compared to the same period last year, the DOH noted. 

Of the new cases reported for the said week, 16 were severe or critical. 

There were 12 deaths, with five recorded from May 7 to 20. 

Only 12 percent of dedicated COVID-19 ICU beds and 14 percent of total COVID-19 beds were occupied. 

Severe and critical cases admitted to hospitals account for nine percent of total admissions. 

There is still no scientific basis for travel restrictions, the DOH said. 

The Bureau of Quarantine is closely watching points of entry nationwide. 


Health care workers, senior citizens and immunocompromised persons should be vaccinated against flu and pneumonia to combat the COVID-19 “FLiRT” variant, according to Rep. Janette Garin. 

Omicron subvariants KP.2 and KP.3 are part of the FLiRT variant, a novel virus that is spreading globally. 

They came from the JN.1 subvariant that was reported in late 2023 and responsible for this year’s earlier increase in infections. 

Garin, who served as late president Benigno Aquino III’s health secretary, also advised Filipinos to wash their hands frequently, practice proper hygiene and have adequate rest and a nutritious balanced diet. 

FLiRT variants have reportedly been detected in Singapore, Thailand, India, China, Hong Kong, Nepal, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and 14 European countries.

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