Back to July level: COVID-19 cases peak anew, infection clusters in households, workplaces

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 17 2021 11:36 AM | Updated as of Mar 17 2021 11:53 AM

A worker from the sanitation department creates a cloud of smoke as he sprays disinfectant solution in Gagalangin,Tondo, Manila on March 15, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — Philippines' COVID-19 infections is at its peak anew, the Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday said, noting the rise of clustered infections from households and workplaces. 

New COVID-19 cases in the Philippines has reached the same peak level in July last year, DOH said. 

“Yesterday it is now at the same peak,” Dr. Alethea de Guzman, OIC Director III of the DOH Epidemiology Bureau, said during a media briefing. “Kung gaano karami yung nagiging pinakamataas na nagkakasakit ng July, now it’s the same peak.”

(The number of those who got infected in July, now it’s the same peak.)

In the past days, the Philippines has been logging 4,000 to more than 5,000 additional cases daily. As of Tuesday, Philippines has recorded a total of 631,320 COVID-19 cases.

De Guzman said that for the first two weeks of March, the increase was 2.5 times higher than January.

She said that while majority of the infections are happening at home, there is also an increasing percentage of workplace clusters.

A graph shown by the health official showed incidence rates in cities with and without variants. Those with the more transmissible variants first detected in the United Kingdom and South Africa showed a higher attack rate or infection rate per 100,000 of the population.

“Oo nakakacontribute talaga yung variants of concern sa mabilis na pagtaas ng kaso natin…(Pero) kahit wala tayong nakikita pang variant of concern sa maraming lugar sa Pilipinas talagang may pagtaas ng kaso dito,” De Guzman explained.

(Yes, variants of concern really contribute to the faster increase of cases….But even in many areas in the Philippines without any detected variant of concern, there really is an increase in cases here.)

De Guzman also showed data based on the Google COVID-19 Community Mobility Trends showing that there was an increase in mobility of people in the country starting December. While mobility peaked in December and immediately declined, an upward trend is seen. 

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