MANILA — Other regions may soon reach their peak number of COVID-19 cases after Metro Manila hit its own based on a pattern observed previously during the delta surge, the Department of Health spokesperson said on Wednesday.
"Kung matatandaan niyo nun nag-experience tayo with Delta, nauna rin ang NCR. And then after 2 to 3 weeks, sumunod 'yung ibang rehiyon. Tapos nauna ring natapos ang NCR. Tapos after 2 to 3 weeks, natapos rin sa ibang rehiyon," Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
Vergeire said that if regions follow the same pattern as Metro Manila's, they might soon record their respective COVID-19 case peak and then observe a decline.
"Meron po tayong cadence ng pangyayari. So 'yun din po ang nakikita nating trends ng characteristics ng ibang regions. And hopefully, as soon as we have done, or nag-peak tayo at nag-decline, ganun din ang mangyari sa ibang regions," she said.
She noted that the vaccination rate in Metro Manila are high, and regions should keep up to help manage and keep the pandemic under control.
"Always remember, when we talk about herd immunity, it's not just one area in a country. Porous ang borders. Kahit ang NCR makarating sa 95%, pero ang karatig na probinsya ay mababa pa rin ang bakunahan, we will still get the infections," Vergeire said.
She reminded the public that they can still get infected despite being vaccinated, noting that the primary doses only guarantee the prevention of severe disease, hospitalization, and death.
According to DOH Region 9 director Joshua Brillantes, the current increase in COVID-19 cases in the Zamboanga Peninsula is alarming.
Hospitals are crowded, and the DOH itself had to fill in gaps in the workforce left by medical staff who are infected with the virus. This prompted the local government unit to conduct its own mass vaccination drive.
"'Yung region ay magsasagawa ng Zambayanihan Sambakunahan ... Jan. 26 to 28. Parang kinokopya namin yung Bayanihan bakunahan dito sa region. 'Yung naka-receive ng 2 doses ay umabot na ng 50%," said Brillantes.
In Cebu City, cases have decreased slightly, with 531 new infections reported on Tuesday, raising its total active cases to over 7,000.
The Central Visayas region now has over 16,000 active COVID-19 cases, first among regions with a sustained increase in infections. It is followed by Western Visayas, Davao Region, Northern Mindanao, and Eastern Visayas.