COVID-19 pandemic not yet over: expert

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 14 2022 09:29 AM

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MANILA – The COVID-19 pandemic is not yet over, a doctor said Monday, even as the Philippines reports fewer new case numbers.

The Department of Health (DOH) on Sunday reported 1,858 new cases of COVID-19, pushing the country's total to 4,018,253.

“Hindi pa natin masasabi na tapos na tayo ‘no, dahil ngayon, at this point ng pandemic, mababa lang ang mga kaso at at least wala nang masyado napunta sa hospital, so very manageable at this point in time but the fact [is] na nandito pa rin yung virus,” Dr. Rontgene Solante told TeleRadyo.

(We can't say yet that the pandemic is over because at this point in time, the case numbers are low, but the virus is still here.)

“Andito pa rin yung mutations saka yung may mga bago na namang variants of concern na lumilitaw sa ibang bansa,” he noted.

(The mutations are still here, and new variants of concerns are being reported in other countries.)

The infectious diseases expert said that once more countries continually report no new COVID cases, then scientists can say that the pandemic is coming to an end. 

“Once countries are not reporting any more cases, then that’s already the end of the pandemic.”

“So at this point we need to monitor pa rin dahil marami pa ring, may mga kaso pa rin in fact dito sa Western Pacific, like part of that is…Japan, South Korea, mataas-taas pa rin ang kaso based doon sa (World Health Organization) epidemiological update so talagang hindi pa natin nakikita ang end of the pandemic,” he explained.

(So at this point we stil need to monitor because there are still cases. In fact, in the Western Pacific--which includes Japan and South Korea--cases are still high based on the World Health Organization epidemiological update so we still don't see the end of the pandemic.)

From Oct. 31 to Nov. 6, an average of 907 daily infections were recorded in the Philippines, which is 30 percent lower compared to the previous week.

That is the lowest number of cases logged in a single week in 19 weeks, or since the week of June 20-26 when the DOH logged 4,591, the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group said.

It was also the second straight week with weekly cases below 10,000. During the week of Oct. 24-30, the DOH logged 9,089 cases.

--TeleRadyo, 14 November 2022