During the weekend, a member of the independent OCTA Research group cited data from the Department of Health which suggested the average number of new coronavirus cases in Metro Manila has increased by 71 percent over the previous week figures.
OCTA fellow Guido David said the NCR, where 13 million people of the country’s population of 110 million live, recorded an average 176 new cases per day from June 11 to 17, up from the average of 103 daily new cases the week earlier.
The metropolis reported 282 new cases on Friday last week, the highest since April 3, when new cases spiked to 332—possibly due to backlogs in real time reports.
On the national level, the Department of Health showed that the 539 new COVID cases it recorded Friday was also the biggest number since April 3 when the total new cases hit 690.
The latest figure meant an additional 114 from the 425 new cases logged throughout the country the previous day.
If there’s a comforting thought in face of all this, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III renewed the agency’s appeal to the people never to be complacent nor worried over the rise in COVID-19 cases in the National Capital Region.
Duque cut the language clearly and said there is no need for the public to panic as the increase in COVID cases is still considered as “low risk.”
He waxed hopeful that the noted increase is going “to be very minor and short-lived and not enough to overwhelm the health system’s capacity.:
That, notwithstanding, sagacity dictates that the people, understandably eager to bump off the basic health protocols, now have an excuse to be self-congratulatory.
Fact is, health experts and others involved in the doughty battle against the pandemic continue to underscore the need to comply with the masking mandate and the rest of the minimum public health standards.
Others have come forward, like Rep. Janet Garin, a former DOH secretary, who said one way to curb the rise in the number of COVID cases is to intensify the vaccination drive and to give a second booster shot to everyone willing to get it.
At this point the Department of Health currently allows a second booster dose only for health workers, senior citizens, and immunocomromised individuals.
We note there has been a low turnout of eligible individuals who had availed themselves of the second booster shot.
As of Wednesday last week, only about 580,000 eligible Filipinos have availed themselves of the second COVIDD-19 booster dose.
It is disturbing, to say the least, that waning protection and inadequate protection from the primary series are two reasons put forward as the causes of the breakthrough infections.
President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr., scheduled to take his oath on June 30 as the country’s chief political magistrate, himself has urged the public to continue wearing face masks to prevent another COVID-19 surge that could hold back the country’s hope for economic recovery.
Blood-curdling scenario if we ignore our guard.