MANILA — The number of daily COVID-19 cases in Philippines may remain at 600 until June, the Department of Health said Tuesday.
Infections surged in the past weeks due to increased public mobility and more transmissible variants, the agency said.
"Based on the projections, hanggang sa June, we are seeing na medyo may pagtaas pa hanggang mga 600 na numero ng kaso," DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a press briefing.
"Eventually, siguro pagkatapos ng Hunyo na 'yan, hopefully pababa na ang mga kaso."
(Until June, we are seeing the the number of cases will increase up to around 600. Eventually, perhaps after June, hopefully cases will go down.)
In the past week, the daily average of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines rose by 42 percent.
From April 24 to 30, the country tallied 4,456 coronavirus infections or an average of 637 daily cases.
The country also detected the omicron subvariant XBB.1.16, known as "Arcturus".
The XBB.1.16, a descendent lineage of XBB, a recombinant of two BA.2 descendent lineages, has the ability to evade immunity and is believed to be more transmissible, the DOH said.
The World Health Organization designated the XBB.1.16 as a variant of interest or VOI following a sustained increase in its prevalence. It has so far spread to 33 countries.
But Vergeire stressed the number in COVID-19 cases would depend on the public's compliance to health standards.
"Ito pong pagtaas at pagbaba ng kaso ay laging nakasalalay sa behavior at pagtutulungan natin," she added.
(The rise and fall of cases is always dependent on our behavior and cooperation.)
Based on the DOH's COVID-19 Tracker, the Philippines has 5,875 active COVID-19 cases as of April 30.
Three years since the pandemic started, the country has recorded over 4,093,000 coronavirus infections. The death toll stood at 66,444.