The worst of the COVID-19 wave of infections in the Philippines brought about by the highly transmissible BA.5 and BA.4 Omicron subvariants is already over, an infectious diseases specialist said Thursday.
“We already passed the worst of the BA5 and BA4,” Dr. Rontgene Solante said during a televised briefing, noting a decline in cases in the country.
“That means, we have passed what we call a wave. So the cases are going down. And because it has come down, we also developed some sort of population immunity, we get it from those who have been infected, who have developed antibodies against BA5,” he added.
“And for those who have completed the vaccine and been boosted, the protection is also continuous. And with that trend, with the number of cases, we see the [health care utilization rate] including the ICU rate has also continuously decreased in hospitals,” Solante said.
The Philippines on Wednesday reported that the number of active COVID cases in the country is now down to 15,989, the lowest since July 13. Meanwhile, the positivity rate from Nov. 6 to 8 is at 9.9 percent.
That means that from Oct. 31 to Nov. 6, an average of 907 daily infections were recorded in the country, 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 country also logged a total of 1,241 new cases, pushing the country’s total to 4,012,868 of whom 3,932,557 have recovered while 64,322 died, the Department of Health (DOH) said.
The National Capital Region recorded a 7.8 positivity rate in the past 7 days, lower than its previous 9.5 percent. Of the day’s new infections, 310 were from Metro Manila.
Solante also said it will take a few more days however whether the long All Saints’ Day weekend will result in an increase in cases, as millions of Filipinos trooped to cemeteries to visit the graves of their departed loved ones.
Since the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine on March 1, 2021, more than 73.6 million people in the country have already been fully inoculated, of whom 20.7 million had received their booster shots.