MANILA - The Department of Health on Tuesday said it is closely monitoring areas with increased cases of COVID-19, as it clarified that there is no definitive evidence of another surge in the National Capital Region yet.
In a statement, DOH said it is immediately flagging areas with increases in rates of transmission based on two-week growth rates (TWGR), in affected population as per average daily attack rate (ADAR), and/or health care utilization.
"The DOH noted the observations of independent expert groups but maintains that such observations should be carefully verified," it added.
DOH said its data showed NCR is at moderate risk, with a 19 percent increase in its TWGR, with an ADAR of 6 cases per 100,000 population.
The cities of Makati, Las Piñas, Pasay, Pasig, Taguig, Paranaque, Manila, Valenzuela, Navotas, Marikina, and Caloocan all have positive TWGR, with Makati, Las Piñas and Pasay having high risk ADAR.
The DOH also noted that in general, the Philippines has low health care and intensive care utilization rate.
"We are also closely monitoring pending ER admissions. While we have enough capacity as of now as evidenced by the low risk HCUR and ICUR, we must continue our preparations to strengthen local health system capacities and further augment the needed resources to maintain these low risk levels. We need to make sure that we have enough capacity to cope with the demand in the event that cases continue their upward trend," said DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.
DOH likewise said it is working with different agencies to ensure that the increase in cases are immediately flagged, investigated and addressed.
"We acknowledge that there is an increase of our case metrics which is why we urge people to continue adhering to the minimum health standards and get vaccinated, and for our local government units to strictly implement our protocols. Otherwise, we might see daily active cases in NCR to reach 11,000 by the end of September 2021 based on the projections calculated by FASSSTER with the assumption that the Delta variant is 60% more transmissible, a conservative estimate of how fast the Delta variant will spread," Vergeire added.
Although it appreciates the work of independent research groups, the DOH appealed to them to be more careful in making pronouncements that may cause panic and fear.
"While we acknowledge the differences in the metrics and methods of analysis used by these independent groups, we share the same goal to keep the case numbers down and improve the healthcare system of the country," Vergeire explained.
The Philippines on Tuesday confirmed 7,186 new COVID-19 infections, the highest reported in more than a month due to delays in data aggregation.
Of the country's 1,562,420 total recorded infections, 56,477 or 3.6 percent are active, the Department of Health (DOH) stated in its latest bulletin.
The ABS-CBN data and research teams said the number of additional cases is the highest since June 13.