Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos has directed local government units (LGUs) to strengthen the enforcement of health protocols as projections from the Department of Health (DOH) showed that COVID-19 cases could hit over 10,600 cases daily by October.
“We are calling for LGUs to closely monitor COVID cases in their areas. We are still in a pandemic and we count on our local officials to lead this war, especially in the coming months when alarming numbers of COVID-19 cases are projected,” Abalos said yesterday in a statement.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government chief noted that the DOH projection is a clear warning for local chief executives that they should not relax their COVID-19 measures. He stressed that the DILG is trying to avoid a spike in the National Capital Region (NCR) as this could also spread to other parts of the country.
“Many of our countrymen are working in Metro Manila, it is the country’s economic center, so the defense here must be strong to prevent the increase in cases that could spread in other areas,” he added.
The current wave of new COVID-19 cases in the NCR may have already peaked but continuous monitoring is needed to confirm the trend in new cases, the OCTA Research group said yesterday.
“We see that it may have already peaked in Metro Manila, hopefully that will continue. There is no assurance that it will go down and we are already in the peak. There is a possibility, but that is not sure yet,” OCTA fellow Guido David said over Teleradyo.
Data showed that the NCR had an average of 1,259 new cases from Aug. 5 to 11, up from 1,243 daily new cases the previous week.
David said the growth rate, which indicates the weekly change in the average new cases, dropped from 22 percent to just one percent – a downward trend that indicates cases are already going down.
Among areas that recently experienced an increase in new cases, the city and province of Iloilo have recorded decreasing numbers, David said.
“Note that Iloilo and the National Capital Region were among the first areas in the Philippines to have an increase in COVID infections in the current wave. Hopefully, the other provinces will see a downward trend soon,” he said in a previous advisory.
A total of 225 Omicron subvariants – 190 BA.5 cases, 34 BA.4 cases and 1 BA.2.12.1 case – have been detected in the country, DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire reported yesterday.
At a press briefing, Vergeire said that “at the moment, the exposure of these individuals, travel histories and health status are being verified.”
Of the additional BA.5 cases, 162 are from Davao region, 23 from Soccsksargen, three from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and one each from Caraga and NCR.
In total, there are 4,203 BA.5 cases detected in the country.
“A total of 175 individuals are now tagged as recovered, seven are still undergoing isolation, while the outcome of the remaining eight are being verified,” Vergeire said.
As to the additional BA.4 cases, the DOH said 23 are from Soccsksargen and 11 from Davao region. Of these, 33 individuals are now tagged as recovered, while others are still being verified. There are 149 total cases of BA.4 in the Philippines.?The single new BA.2.12.1 case from Davao is now tagged as recovered, the DOH said. In total, there are 182 cases of the BA.2.12.1 detected in the country.
The DOH said that the country remains at low risk classification despite a slight increase in hospital admissions of severe and critical COVID-19 cases nationwide.
“We now observe a steady uptrend in ICU (intensive care unit) admissions of severe and critical COVID-19 cases at the national level starting July 2022. As of Aug. 10, we have 871, or that is 9.27 percent of total admissions of severe and critical cases,” Vergeire said.
She added that 28,178 new COVID-19 cases were recorded from Aug. 5 to 11, a majority of which are asymptomatic (40.98 percent) and mild cases (40.77 percent).
Meanwhile, the NCR and the Cordillera Administrative Region remain to be under moderate risk case classification with average daily attack rate or ADAR of 9.17 and 7.96 cases, per 100,000 population.
“The remaining regions are under low risk classification, though Cagayan Valley and Calabarzon are nearing the ADAR threshold with 4.52 and 5.09 cases (per 100,000 population), respectively,” Vergeire added.
She explained that the Philippines remains at low risk classification, with ADAR of 3.51 per 100,000 population, while dedicated ICU beds also decreased by 151 or five percent in the previous weeks.