April 14, 2024

The slight increase in the number of Covid-19 cases is due to the holiday season when reunions among friends and families abound, the Department of Health said.

Saying Covid-19 is now just one of the illnesses that cause respiratory tract infection, DOH Sec. Teodoro Herbosa described its most recent variants of interest as similar to common coughs and colds unlike previous ones that cause severe pneumonia.

“There’s a slight uptick. Some hospitals have their Covid-19 beds in full capacity but the number of Covid-19 beds has decreased,” Herbosa said in a media forum.

Earlier, the DOH reported an average of 260 cases per day for the week of Dec. 5 to 11, a 36-percent hike from the previous week’s average of 196 cases per day.

This is the first time in five months since the DOH has logged over 200 new cases of Covid-19.

Thirteen of the total 1,821 cases logged for the week of Dec. 5 to 11 were tagged severe or critical.

“There are some hospitals that already implemented stricter masking. But that doesn’t mean that the DOH will require everyone to wear masks,” Herbosa said.

When asked about the procurement of more Covid-19 vaccines, Herbosa said the DOH did not include it in their budget.

“Because the vaccines remember are still experimental, so we’re still awaiting their final registration before we procure them and even the assessment of our health technology,” he said.

The Philippines was offered by the Covax Facility a donation of one million doses of monovalent XBB vaccines.

“I’m accepting it in tranches of 500,000  so we can also have access,” Herbosa said.

These vaccines would be allotted for senior citizens and individuals with comorbidities as they are at high risk of being hospitalized for severe Covid-19 infection. – PNA