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COVID-19 cases could peak in mid-September — DOH

/ 02:25 PM August 31, 2021

HERO OF THE TIMES A medical worker attends to a patient outside the National Kidney and Transplant Institute in Quezon City on Sunday, performing a heroic job in these difficult times. —NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

MANILA, Philippines — COVID-19 cases in the country could peak in mid-September, the Department of Health (DOH) said Tuesday as it flagged 12 regions for being high risk for COVID-19.

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Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the country saw 17,013 average daily new cases from August 24 to 30, which is 14 percent higher than 14,886 from August 17 to 23, and 32 percent higher than the 12,818 from August 10 to 16.

On Monday, the DOH logged 22,366 new COVID-19 cases — the highest single-day increase since the start of the pandemic. However, Vergeire warned that cases are expected to further swell due to the highly transmissible Delta variant and active case finding.

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“We may see cases peak mid-September. However, these figures will greatly depend on the further improvement on compliance of minimum public health standard, shortening the interval between detection to isolation, faster vaccine deployment, and granular lockdowns that we are all doing right now,” she told a media briefing.

READ: WHO confirms community transmission of Delta variant in PH

According to Vergeire, additional cases were also identified with increased active case finding, contact tracing, and testing. She said that average tests per day increased by 20 percent from 56,179 during the first week of August to 67,692 from August 22 to 28.

Meanwhile, the national positivity rate is currently at 26.3 percent from the previous 18.6 percent during the first week of the month.

Twelve regions are currently at high risk classification for COVID-19. These are Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Cagayan Valley, Cordillera Administrative Region, Central Luzon, Northern Mindanao, Ilocos Region, Central Visayas, Davao Region, Western Visayas, Soccsksargen, and Caraga.

The remaining regions are at moderate risk classification. Overall, the country is still at a high-risk category for the disease. The majority of the regions have moderate to high-risk health system capacity.

However, Vergeire said the DOH has observed a slowdown of active cases in the NCR Plus. She said that over 51 percent of active cases in the country are coming from other provinces.

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A total of 111 or 92 percent of all provinces, highly-urbanized cities and independent component cities remain under alert level 3 and 4.

Alert level 3 is raised for areas with moderate to critical risk classification for COVID-19 cases and have healthcare utilization rate (HCUR) or intensive care utilization rate (ICUR) of 50 to 70 percent. Alert level 4 is raised for areas with moderate to critical risk classification and have HCUR or ICUR of more than 70 percent.

The country currently has 148,594 active COVID-19 cases as of Monday.

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