Expert urges caution amid slight uptick in COVID-19 cases

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 27 2021 08:40 AM | Updated as of Dec 27 2021 03:10 PM

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MANILA (UPDATE)—Experts on Monday urged the public to exercise caution when going out following a slight uptick in the country’s COVID-19 cases.

Professor Jomar Rabajante of the University of the Philippines Pandemic Response Team said he observed that the increase in coronavirus infections started on Dec. 20.

The country's reproduction number or the number infected by a single COVID-19 case is now more than 1, he added.

The Philippines on Sunday confirmed 433 new cases of COVID-19. Positivity rate was at 2 percent—the highest since November 29, according to ABS-CBN Data Analytics head Edson Guido.

Rabajante said increased mobility due to Filipinos going out during the holidays could have led to the increase in COVID cases. 

“Posible ito galing sa mga mobility natin kasi karamihan doon sa mga kasong naitala ay galing (National Capital Region),” he said.

He stressed, however, that it is too early to say if the uptick in cases would continue.

“Pero hindi pa ‘to masasabi nating magsu-surge tayo o mag-iispike tayo kasi kailangan natin tong tutukan for a week or two weeks,” he said.

Dr. Maricar Limpin, president of Philippine College of Physicians, also shared the same view that increased mobility and holiday gatherings could be the culprit in the COVID-19 spike.

She noted that the country's coronavirus tally was only 168 on Dec. 21 and jumped to 433 on Dec. 26.

"That is more than 100 percent increase. And we know that when it comes to COVID-19, the transmission is exponential," Limpin told Teleradyo.

"So, you can expect that if people keep on going out and fly domestically, these are the reasons why we have many cases right now," she said in a mix of Filipino and English.

Limpin raised alarm that COVID-19 cases may further increase in January.

GET BOOSTER SHOTS

Rabajante encouraged the public to keep following minimum public health standards, and to avoid gathering whenever possible to avoid infection.

“Mag-mask tayo at maghugas ng kamay at wag masyado talaga sa gathering kasi kahit--alam natin ‘di ba? Yung ating mga idolong BTS, na asymptomatic na nag-positive.”

“So posibleng may mga asymptomatic tayong kasama na pwedeng magkalat nung virus,” he said.

He also said that more people should get vaccinated to further protect themselves from the virus.

“Kaya po panawagan natin doon sa hindi pa talaga bakunado, magpabakuna. Doon naman sa mga fully vaccinated na, kung may opportunity at pwede na kayong magpa-booster shot, magpa-booster shot na po kayo kasi, para mapaghandaan natin, lalo na ngayon, mataas ang mobility natin dahil sa holidays, maalagaan natin 'yung ating kalusugan.”

“At, sana wag naman ‘no, pero kung sakaling dumating ang omicron at least may booster shot tayo,” he added.

--Teleradyo, 27 December 2021