As gov't eases restrictions, DOH says effects of Delta surge not yet reversed

Davinci Maru, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 05 2021 02:27 PM | Updated as of Nov 05 2021 02:40 PM

People visit market stalls in Divisoria, Manila on Nov. 2, 2021. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File
People visit market stalls in Divisoria, Manila on Nov. 2, 2021. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA—The impact brought by the Delta variant in the country has not been completely reversed despite a decline in infections, a health official said Friday.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said some parts of the country were still facing rising COVID-19 cases and admissions in hospitals.

"We can't really say that we have already reversed because there are still cases ongoing... Kaya lahat tayo maging maingat muna (That's why we have to be cautious)," she said in a press briefing.

Vergeire noted health authorities were able to contain at a "manageable level" the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the country from the Delta variant. The health care system, she said, was not also overwhelmed.

On Thursday, a group of experts said majority of areas in the Philippines had returned to its pre-Delta variant surge level.

OCTA Research fellow Prof. Guido David said the National Capital Region and 7 other urban areas were now classified as "low risk" for COVID-19, while Cebu City was now considered as "very low risk."

The 7 other areas include Davao City, Bulacan, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Pampanga, and Rizal.

"We have reversed the Delta surge already in NCR. We were back to where we were before the surge in July. And the goods news is it's not just in the NCR," he told reporters.

The decline in cases could be attributed to wide vaccine coverage, the public's adherence to minimum public health standards, and the enforcement of lockdowns, David said.

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Courtesy of the Department of Health

'NOT ARTIFICIAL'

In the briefing, Vergeire also reiterated that the drop in COVID-19 cases in the country was "not artificial."

"This is not artificial anymore. We have seen the decline," she said.

Metro Manila is now averaging 493 cases per day, compared to its peak of 5,000 in the past months, Vergeire said.

The country is recording an average of 2,888 daily infections. In September, it logged over 20,000 cases amid the presence of the Delta variant.

The sprawling capital region, home to over 13 million people, eased to Alert Level 2 starting Friday amid decline in COVID-19 cases.

The alert level, which allows for greater mobility and higher capacity in businesses, will last until Nov. 21.

On Thursday, the country logged 1,766 fresh coronavirus cases, falling for the second straight day below the 2,000-mark.