DOH keeping close watch on NCR, 5 other regions for rising cases

The Department of Health (DOH) is monitoring six regions—including Metro Manila--that reversed a decline in COVID-19 infections over the last two weeks.

The other regions are Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Central Visayas, and Northern Mindanao, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Monday.

Vergeire said the reproduction number, which refers to the number of people that each case can infect, was at 1.009 in Metro Manila, 0.95 in Cagayan Valley, 1.12 in Central Luzon, 0.98 in Calabarzon, 1 in Central Visayas, and 0.91 in Northern Mindanao.

A reproduction number of 1 or higher suggests sustained COVID-19 transmission.

Nationally, cases grew by 1 percent during July 11 to 24, but Vergeire cautioned against the use of the term “surge” to describe the rise in infections.

“A surge has an epidemiological definition which is not what’s happening right now. Cases are increasing—that, we can verify,” she said.

Vergeire also said the Cordillera and Ilocos regions have been posting a two-week case growth for six weeks now, while Northern Mindanao and Davao regions are being closely monitored due to their high ICU utilization rate.

The DOH is also keeping an eye on 26 provinces that registered a high average daily attack rate and low- to moderate-risk two-week case growth rate but it did not specify which areas.

Authorities are on alert following the DOH’s confirmation of local transmission of the highly contagious Delta variant.

The Philippines has tallied 119 Delta cases so far, only 12 of which remain active.

Davao City detected its first case of the Delta variant, its task force against COVID-19 said Monday.

The 28-year-old female patient was swabbed on June 26 after exposure to a symptomatic COVID-19 case at her workplace, an official of the task force said.

The official added that the patient had received two COVID-19 jabs before she was infected.

The DOH said nine carriers of the Delta variant have already been vaccinated against the virus, as they had only mild to no symptoms.

The DOH said it had yet to verify the vaccination status of the 119 people infected with the more transmissible strain.

Among the fully vaccinated, three had mild cases while one was asymptomatic, Vergeire said.

Three of those who received one dose of COVID-19 vaccines had mild cases while two were asymptomatic patients, she said.

Of the three who died, two were unvaccinated, she added.

Vergeire emphasized that the data shows vaccinated people have better protection against the Delta variant.

Some 24 Delta variant carriers were confirmed to be unvaccinated, while the status of 86 cases are still being verified, the DOH said.

“It seems that most of them are unvaccinated but it still needs to be verified,” Vergeire said.

Over the weekend, the Philippines detected 55 additional cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant, bringing the case load for the highly transmissible variant to 119.

The Philippines logged 6,664 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, bringing the total number of infections to 1,555,396.

Twenty-three new fatalities brought the COVID-19 death toll to 27,247.

The DOH also reported 5,766 persons who recently recovered, bringing the total recoveries to 1,473,009.

Active cases were logged at 55,140, of which 93.6 percent were mild, 1.1 percent were asymptomatic, 1.4 percent were critical, 2.3 percent were severe.

Nationwide, 58 percent of the ICU beds, 47 percent of the isolation beds, 44 percent of the ward beds, and 39 percent of the ventilators, were in use.

In Metro Manila, 46 percent of the ICU beds, 41 percent of the isolation beds, 36 percent of the ward beds, and 37 percent of the ventilators, were in use.

Topics: Department of Health , COVID-19 , Maria Rosario Vergeire , Delta variant
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