The daily number of COVID cases reached a 5-month high of 2,371

The daily number of COVID-19 cases returned to an upward number earlier this year, reaching a five-month high on Thursday, according to the latest data from the Department of Health (DOH).

The DOH’s coronavirus tracker showed 2,371 new infections, the highest since Feb. 16 when the country recorded 2,671 cases.

This is the second time this week that daily infections have breached the 2,000 mark, bringing the total number of active cases to 16,244.

The daily number of COVID cases reached a 5-month high of 2,371

The daily number of COVID cases reached a 5-month high of 2,371

Test kits for COVID-19 ( file photo)

Cases in the National Capital Region (NCR) continue to rise, but the pace slowed last week. From July 8 to July 14, the average daily case in Metro Manila grew 29 percent to 748 — less than the 42 percent growth last week, which led to 582 cases during that time.

OCTA Research fellow Guido David said on Thursday that infections could be “high” soon in the capital region.

But it could also be delayed, he said, if cases continue to rise as seen in the increase in the positivity rate, or the percentage of test results that are positive.

A peak is indicated when the transmission speed has slowed or is already in a downtrend.

The Calabarzon region (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) had the highest positivity rate at 14.4 percent, followed by NCR at 13 percent, Western Visayas at 11.7 percent and Central Luzon at 11.5 percent.

The nationwide positivity rate is at 10.6 percent, approximately twice the threshold set by the World Health Organization (WHO) of less than 5 percent to indicate that delivery of COVID-19 in a particular area is below of control.

Only variant of concern

Bicol, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Davao, Soccsksargen, Caraga and Bangsamoro are the regions whose positivity rate is on the WHO benchmark.

According to Dr. Marissa Alejandria, director of the Institute of Clinical Epidemiology at the University of the Philippines (UP) Manila, said Omicron is the only COVID-19 variant of concern in circulation worldwide.

“Other variants have been demoted to variants being monitored,” she said at an online forum on Friday titled “Increasing Cases: Who’s Getting Severe COVID Now?” (Cases on the Rise: Who Is Having Severe COVID Now?)

Alejandria noted that BA.5 and BA.2.12.1 are the subvariants of Omicron driving the increase in cases in the country, and that this has been increased by increased mobility, decreased compliance with public health standards. and impaired immunity.

Booster vaccination nationwide remained slow, with only 15.5 million receiving their first and 993,434 getting their second booster doses.

‘Half-built’ wall

DOH data on Wednesday showed that 71 million of the government’s revised target of 78.1 million had been fully inoculated by primary doses.

The agency said the original 70-percent target was adjusted in line with this year’s population of 111.6 million, according to estimates by the Philippine Statistics Authority.

Epidemiologist John Wong, another resource speaker at the forum organized by UP Manila, pointed out that only those who have been vaccinated and boosted in the past six months have “adequate protection” against COVID-19.

Up to local governments

“Our wall is only half-built and there are parts of the wall where the virus can easily pass. We need to build on this, ”said Wong, a member of the technical working group on data analytics of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Meanwhile, the Department of Trade and Industry said it was up to local governments and business owners to impose a policy banning the entry of people who have not yet gotten a booster shot.

Marinduque Gov. had earlier proposed. Presbitero Velasco Jr., who is also president of the League of Provinces of the Philippines, the “no booster shot, no entry” policy, citing the increase in cases.

The infectious disease expert Dr. Rontgene Solante that the government should consider making booster doses mandatory.

But at the Always Ready briefing on Friday, Trade Undersecretary Ruth Castelo said it would be “their (local governments) prerogative and also the prerogative of business establishments, to prevent the entry of customers who have not been vaccinated or not boosted in this case. .

COVID-19 call the DOH Hotline

For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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