February 1, 2023

The country’s Covid-19 infections could be as high as 2,294 per day by the end of December, according to the Department of Health’s projection.

DOH Epidemiology Bureau Director, Dr. Alethea de Guzman said if the public’s current minimum public health standards (MPHS) compliance remains the same, the average daily cases would only be around 429 by December.

“If our MPHS compliance further decreases, our daily cases will probably range from 1,140 to as high as 2,294 by the end of December and our active cases may also reach a total of 18,000 as of December and these are national numbers,” she added.

Increased public interaction, decreased social distancing and optional wearing of masks during the holidays contribute to reduced MPHS compliance.

The rise in cases would not necessarily translate to a significant increase in the hospital utilization rate if no new variant of concern enters the country.

“The highest number that we will see is actually around 800 admissions and these are NCR data,” De Guzman said.

“Nung Delta ang ating highest number of admissions is around 1,270. Anong ibig sabihin? Yes, with the more transmissible and immune escaping variant, our hospitalizations will increase but it will not reach the height or the peak of Delta,” she added.

She also noted that improving the vaccination rates when there is a more transmissible variant may decrease peaks by as much as 20 percent.

As of Nov. 27, about 73,592,319 individuals have been fully vaccinated and 20,718,469 have received their booster shots.

The country’s daily average cases from Nov. 21 to 27 was 1,147 – 0.3 percent higher than previous week’s 1,147.

About 21.6 percent or 526 out of the 2,430 intensive care unit (ICU) beds are in use, while 25.2 percent or 5,169 of 20,508 non-ICU beds are used as of Nov. 28.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Health Care (CBCP-ECHC) reminded the public to continue to follow the minimum public health standard during gatherings this holiday season.

“Let’s just be prudent in whatever we do with extra care. Because if we have extra care, somehow we also have safety nets against the threat of Covid-19,” CBCP-ECHC chairperson Oscar Jaime Florencio said.

The prelate also reminded the faithful to be grateful for the blessings they received, especially for God’s continued protection against the disease.

“Let’s give thanks to the Lord and let’s ask the Lord for help because if he doesn’t help us, no matter what we do, we will really get into the big problem of the threat of Covid,” he said.

Earlier, the Archdiocese of Manila issued a reminder for continued compliance with minimum public health standards against Covid-19 while attending Eucharistic celebrations and other gatherings in churches under the archdiocese. – PNA