DOH records 89 new COVID cases on Jan. 31, lowest since April 2020

Vivienne Gulla, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 01 2023 06:02 PM

MANILA - The Department of Health recorded 89 new COVID cases on January 31, the lowest daily tally in nearly three years.

The Philippines last saw less than a hundred fresh COVID-19 infections in one day on April 4, 2020, with 75 new cases, based on ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group’s monitoring of DOH’s data.

Active COVID-19 cases in the country are at 9,632 or below 10,000 as of Tuesday, with only 18 percent of COVID-19 beds occupied.

In Metro Manila, the DOH regional office also observed a decline in COVID-19 infections, but advised the public to continue observing minimum health protocols.

“The cases are really going down. There’s no threat of any variant making an increase in cases, and health facilities are capable. But the possibility of a variant that will be elusive of vaccines that are being developed is still there,” DOH-NCR Director Aleli Sudiacal said.

“Let us not be complacent. The threat of the COVID-19 is still there. We’re not through with the pandemic. So we hope that people will continue to follow the recommendations and advisories of the Department of Health and our local chief executives,” she added.

The DOH-NCR is optimistic that the expected arrival of new bivalent COVID vaccines may increase the demand for booster shots. 

Sudiacal admitted that the rollout of booster jabs remains a challenge.

Data show that 12.7 million people or 126.7 percent of the target in Metro Manila have been fully vaccinated, but only 5.36 million or 53 percent of the region’s target received a booster, while 1.16 million received their 2nd booster.

“It’s really a challenge, up to now. We have done all the strategies that are possible. We have gone to these communities. We have deployed mobile teams. Tuloy-tuloy pa rin po ‘yun,” Sudiacal said.

“If we really trumpet that this bivalent vaccine as wider coverage, so it’s not just addressing the old variants, but the more recent variants. Yes, we’re very optimistic that it will create a demand from the public,” she added.

DOH OIC Maria Rosario Vergeire previously said the “initial” delivery of donated bivalent COVID vaccines from COVAX is expected around the end of next month. Other countries also offered to donate omicron-targeted jabs.

The Philippines confirmed its first COVID-19 case in late January of 2020, in a Chinese woman who arrived from Wuhan City, China where the respiratory disease is believed to have first emerged.

As of Tuesday, the country's total recorded infections stood at 4,073,203, including 65,779 that have resulted in deaths, DOH data showed.


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