MANILA— The Philippines will continue to see relatively high COVID-19 infections in the coming days, the health department said Saturday, just as the country returned to over 10,000 new virus infections on Friday after nearly 4 months.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire admitted that the fresh COVID-19 cases could be likely driven by the highly contagious Delta variant, which is at least 60 percent more virulent compared to the original strain from Wuhan, China that emerged in late 2019.
"So nakikita na po natin na sumisipa na ang mga kaso, tumataas na po ang kaso, nararamdaman na po natin ang epekto ng Delta variant sa ating bansa. Amin pong nakikita, based on projections, tataas pa rin po ang mga kasong ito," Vergeire explained in a public briefing.
(We already see that new cases have spiked, and we are now feeling the effect of the Delta variant in our country. Based on projections, cases will continue rising.)
The health official added that tougher lockdowns would only "delay further increase," but the growth of infections would not stop.
"Ito pong ginagawa nating paghihigpit... hindi niyan papatigilin. Tuloy pa rin ang pagtaas."
(These tougher lockdowns will not stop the COVID-19 infections. The cases will continue to rise.)
Metro Manila, Laguna, Cagayan De Oro, and Iloilo City are currently under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) until mid-August to halt the spread of COVID-19 infections.
Vergeire added that the tougher lockdowns are also aimed to "prepare the (health care) system for the continuous increase in the number of cases."
Despite this, however, she said that they have yet to declare that community transmission is already happening in the country. Health authorities are now responding as if community transmission is already present, she added.
The last time the country breached 10,000 new COVID-19 cases was on April 17, the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group said.
Meanwhile, active infections are over 70,000, the highest in over 3 months or since May 1.
COVID-related deaths is also at a nearly 4-month high on Friday at 247.
ABS-CBN Data Analytics head Edson Guido said the capital region posted the highest number of new cases on Friday at 2,444. He pointed out that this was the highest daily rise in the region since May 2.
Metro Manila is followed by Calabarzon with 2,052, which also posted the highest daily tally since April 19.
The following areas, meanwhile, registered the most new infections on Friday, as per DOH data:
- Cavite - 794
- Laguna - 609
- Bulacan - 562
- Quezon City - 375
- Cebu City - 314
- Manila - 309
Video courtesy of PTV
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