PH remains under 'low risk' despite rise in COVID cases: health dept

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 07 2022 05:47 PM | Updated as of Jul 07 2022 06:26 PM

Commuters line up to ride the EDSA Bus Carousel at the Roosevelt station in Quezon City on July 1, 2022. While the EDSA bus carousel remains free of charge until July, the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) libreng sakay for the MRT-3 ends today after servicing commuters since March 28. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News
Commuters line up to ride the EDSA Bus Carousel at the Roosevelt station in Quezon City on July 1, 2022. While the EDSA bus carousel remains free of charge until July, the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) libreng sakay for the MRT-3 ends today after servicing commuters since March 28. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Philippines remains under "low risk" classification despite an increase in COVID-19 cases, the Department of Health said Thursday.

The country recorded 8,248 new cases from June 30 to July 6 or an average of 1,1178 cases daily, according to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

Metro Manila is averaging nearly 550 cases per day, while its neighboring areas (NCR Plus) and the rest of Luzon logged less than 250 cases daily, Vergeire said. 

Mindanao's COVID-19 cases began to increase in mid-June and have "plateaued" at 50 cases per day, she added.

The national positivity rate was at 7.4 percent, similar to the country's rate in late February, said the DOH spokesperson. 

Healthcare utilization remains low at 21 percent, Vergeire said.

"Bagamat patuloy ang pagtaas ng COVID-19 cases sa ating bansa at sa lahat po ng ating rehiyon, we remain to be at low risk case classification, maintaining a low risk average daily attack rate," she told reporters.

(Although COVID-19 cases continue to rise in our country, in all regions, we remain to be at low risk case classification, maintaining a low risk average daily attack rate.)

RAMP UP BOOSTER UPTAKE 

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos ordered the DOH to ramp up COVID-19 booster uptake during his meeting with health officials on Wednesday, Vergeire said.

"The Office of the President will be the one to announce kung anuman po ang directives ng President sa atin. Be rest assured, he fully supports naman the DOH and the COVID response and vaccination program," she said.

(The Office of the President will be the one to announce the directives of the President for us.) 

As of Tuesday, the Philippines has fully vaccinated 70.8 million individuals, of whom 15.2 million have received an additional dose, according to Vergeire. 

Some 895,000 health workers, elderly, immunocompromised and persons with comorbidities have gotten a second booster shot, she said.

The President made no pronouncements mandating COVID-19 booster shots, Vergeire said. 

The President's choice for the next health secretary was not discussed, she added.

"Klaro naman po, may ipinalabas na memorandum circular kung saan nakalagay na dun ano dapat ang gawin ng bawat ahensya," she said.

(It's clear, a memorandum circular has been released on what each agency should do.)

"It’s really inappropriate for us to ask why it’s taking long for him. Mahirap po talagang pumili ng ating mga opisyales dahil kailangan maging mapili. Let us wait sa pag-announce sino ang magiging Secretary of Health."

(It's hard to choose our officials, he must be discerning. Let us wait for the announcement on who will be the Secretary of Health.)

The Inter-Agency Task Force Against COVID-19 will stay until the President rescinds the executive order that created it, Vergeire said.

"Hanggang sa 'di naman po nare-rescind ng ating President at Office of the President, naka-status quo po 'yan. It would be the prerogative of the new administration paano ipapatupad ito," she said.

(Until the President and the Office of the President rescind it, it is under status quo. It would be the prerogative of the new administration how to implement this.)

"He supports the DOH and he also said our response should be always science-based. We will wait for further instructions from the President, everything is status quo."

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