Philippine health official says Covid-19 cases start to peak

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The steady uptick in the COVID-19 infections in the Philippines signals the start of the peak of cases, the Philippines’ Department of Health (DOH) said on Monday.

“Right now, (we see) that the number of cases is continuously increasing,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told a television interview. “We can see that this is really the start in the peak in the number of cases.”

Vergeire said the Southeast Asian country is seeing a trend similar to what happened in September 2021 and January 2022. The Philippines reported the highest single-day tally on Jan. 15 this year, with 39,004 new cases.The Philippines has seen four COVID-19 waves since the pandemic hit the country in January 2020.

Vergeire said the DOH recorded around 2,458 cases across the country last week. In Metro Manila, she said, the number of cases has doubled already. “In their average number of cases from the previous week, we can see a 70 percent increase in the number of cases.”

Infectious diseases expert Edsel Maurice Salvana downplayed the spike in COVID-19 cases, saying the uptick in cases is expected due to the detection of the new, more transmissible coronavirus variants.

Salvana said the country’s COVID-19 cases “remains manageable at this time due to the low healthcare utilization rate.”

The DOH blamed the slight increase of COVID-19 infections on the spread of the more transmissible variants, the increase in people’s mobility, and the people’s “waning immunity.” —AFP