Too early to say if uptick in COVID cases in PH would lead to surge, says expert


Posted at May 03 2022 08:57 AM

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MANILA – It is too early to say whether the uptick in COVID-19 cases in the country marks the start of a new surge, an expert said Tuesday.

Professor Jomar Rabajante of the University of the Philippines (UP) COVID-19 Pandemic Response Team said the number of COVID-19 cases in the country remained low.

“Itong nakita natin increase hindi pa natin talaga masasabi if start na ito, kasi there are some instances na mababa din naman ’yung mga reported cases. And itong growth rate medyo dapat careful din tayo to interpret, kasi, when we look at growth rate na nasimula ’yung base number natin sa masyadong mababa,” he said.

“Kasi ’yung mga new cases natin, for example, ’yung average daily attack rate natin sa NCR mababa talaga. So kung titingnan natin ito, ’yung increase, posibleng ma-hit natin 7 percent (growth rate) na ganyan pero actually, in terms of the actual number hindi naman ganoon kalaki ’yung tinalon.”

Rabajante said, however, that COVID-19 cases may increase in June or July due to waning immunity in the population.

“Hindi pa rin natin alam kung ano ’yung magiging dynamics. So what we did ay gumawa kami ng maraming simulation scenarios, there are some scenarios na nakita namin that there might be an increase based on waning of immunity, around June, July,” he added.

“And ’yung ating hospitalizations dito, could reach around ’yung mga non-(intensive care unit) beds natin mga around 5,000 to 10,000, and itong ating ICU ay around 1,000.”

The professor stressed, however, that these figures are still lower than what was recorded in the country during the omicron surge

The Philippines on Monday reported that it has vaccinated 75 percent of its target population. Some 13 million fully inoculated individuals have received their booster shots.

--TeleRadyo, 3 May 2022