PH daily COVID cases may reach 22,000 by end-July: health dept

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 28 2022 05:08 PM | Updated as of Jun 28 2022 05:23 PM

Commuters queue  ABS-CBN News
Commuters queue at the Monumento station of the EDSA Bus Carousel in Caloocan City on June 13, 2022. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The Philippines may tally around 22,000 COVID-19 cases a day by the end of July if public compliance to pandemic protocols slacks off, the Department of Health said Tuesday.

Other factors include vaccine effectiveness, public mobility, and infections from abroad, according to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

Cases might reach 22,187 daily by July 31 if compliance to minimum health standards declines by 22 percent, Vergeire said, citing projections made by FASSSTER or the Feasibility Analysis of Syndromic Surveillance Using Spatio-Temporal Epidemiological Modeler For Early Detection of Diseases.

Cases could reach between 12,451 and 17,05 if public compliance to minimum health standards goes down by 20 percent and 21 percent, respectively, Vergeire said.

The COVID-19 positivity rate nationwide has increased to 4.1 percent, the same figure logged in March, Vergeire said.

The country tallied 4,976 new cases from June 21 to 27 or an average of 710 daily cases, she added.

"Gayunpaman di pa rin tayo dapat mag-alala sapagkat nananatiling nasa less than 1 case per 100,000 population ang ating average daily attack rate," she told reporters.

(Despite this, we still don't need to worry because our average daily attack rate remains less than 1 case per 100,000 population.)

Meanwhile, daily COVID-19 infections in Metro Manila may reach up to 1,784 by mid-September if in-school capacity increases in August and no new variant of concern will enter, Vergeire added.

The uptick could begin in mid-July and reach a "low peak" by mid-September, she said.

"Maaari po itong i-attribute sa mga salik katulad ng increased contact rate, waning immunity, at iba pa," she told reporters. 

(This could be attributed to factors like increased contact rate, waning immunity, and others.) 

The estimated number of COVID hospitalizations in Metro Manila is forecast to be "about half" of admissions during the peak in January driven by the omicron variant, according to DOH data.

Admissions could reach 1,113 for hospitals and 245 for ICUs or intensive care units if about 1 million doses of COVID vaccines are administered per month, Vergeire said.

"Inaasahang mababa ang hospitalization sa Setyembre ngunit magkakaroon ng rebound peak ng admission sa kalagitnaan ng 2023," she said.

(We expect a low hospitalization rate in September but there will be a rebound peak of admissions in mid-2023.)

"Dahil dito, kinakailangan natin ipagpatuloy na palawigin ang ating pagbabakuna sa ating populasyon," she said.

(Because of this, we need to continue expanding the vaccination of our population.)

As of Monday, a total of 70.5 million persons have been fully vaccinated, of whom 15 million have received their booster shots, Vergeire said. 

Some 9.5 million teens and 3.4 million children ages 5 to 11 have received their primary series, while 792,000 health workers, elderly and immunocompromised persons have received their second booster, she added.

All children ages 12 to 17 will get their booster shot "very soon" after the Health Technology Assessment Council recommended for them to receive it at least 5 months after their primary series, the DOH said in a statement.

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