Philippines still low risk from COVID-19 despite case uptick


Posted at Oct 18 2022 05:39 PM | Updated as of Oct 18 2022 07:40 PM

People fall in line for fried siopao in Binondo, Manila on July 21, 2022. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File
People fall in line for fried siopao in Binondo, Manila on July 21, 2022. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — The Philippines remains at low risk from COVID-19 despite "incremental increase" in cases in most areas, the Department of Health said Tuesday.

According to DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire, Mindanao's coronavirus infections are showing signs of plateauing while Metro Manila is on a downward trend in recent days.

"In terms of our metrics, nananatili po tayo sa low-risk case classification, with an average daily attack rate of 1.92 cases per 100,000 population," she said in a press briefing.

ADAR is the number of new cases over a 2-week period, divided by the population.

However, the capital region is still at "moderate risk" for coronavirus, Vergeire said.

"During the recent 1 or 2 weeks, all remaining regions except for regions 4B, 5, and 9 are showing case increases," she added.

From Oct. 11-17, the Philippines logged 15,144 additional COVID-19 cases or an average of 2,163 daily infections.

The country's positivity rate or the percentage of all tests that are positive for coronavirus also declined to 14.8 percent compared to 15.6 percent in the previous week, Vergeire said.


In terms of healthcare system capacity, all areas are considered low-risk for total bed and ICU utilization rate, the DOH said.

"Gayunpaman, nais po nating i-flag ang Region 11. As of October 16, meron po silang moderate risk ICU utilization," Vergeire said.

(However, we want to flag Region 11. As of October 16, they have moderate risk ICU classification.)

Davao Region has recorded 70 severe and critical cases, which is less than 13 percent of their total COVID-19 admission, she added.

Vergeire also warned that the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao is also nearing the moderate risk threshold for healthcare system capacity, with at least 40 percent ICU utilization rate.

Nationally, severe and critical cases and ICU admissions are on a plateau, the DOH said. Most of those admitted to the hospital are asymptomatic and mild cases.

As of Oct. 16, some 690 or 9.6 percent of COVID-19 admissions are in severe and critical condition.

On Tuesday, the DOH confirmed the detection of 81 cases of the Omicron XBB subvariant and 193 cases of XBC variant.

None have died from the XBB while 5 have succumbed due to XBC, it added.

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