DOH: 1 of 3 scenarios shows rise in COVID cases by January if protocols are ignored | Inquirer News

DOH: 1 of 3 scenarios shows rise in COVID cases by January if protocols are ignored

/ 02:26 PM December 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) reminded the public to continue observing safety protocols against COVID-19, as one of their projections showed a rise in infections nationwide by January 2022 if there is less compliance with the health measures and restrictions.

According to DOH’s epidemiology bureau officer-in-charge Director Alethea de Guzman, none of the prediction models they generated pointed to active COVID-19 cases surging beyond current numbers, despite the holidays where mobility is expected to increase steadily.

However, there is the risk of active infections surging towards the levels seen last December 11 — 11,373 active cases — if compliance with minimum public health and safety (MPHS) protocols go down by even just 30 percent.


“As we go more mobile, posibleng hindi tayo mas as compliant as before, in masking, physical distancing, and avoiding crowded places.  Looking at the Philippines, there are three scenarios, and all scenarios with the exception of this red line, is showing na tuloy-tuloy ang magiging pagbaba ng ating active cases,” de Guzman told reporters in a press briefing on Tuesday.


“Dito sa third scenario, the red line, this is the only scenario na makikita natin na may posibleng pagtaas ng kaso na tayong makita pagdating ng dulo ng Enero.  This is a scenario where our MPHS compliance continues to decline by 30 percent, so posibleng by end of December, umakyat, magkaroon tayo ng 8,600 active cases, at by end of January, 9,338 cases,” she added.

In the first scenario presented by DOH, if the country maintains its current compliance rate with MPHS protocols like wearing of face masks and maintaining physical distancing, active COVID-19 cases may go down to 5,953 by December 31, and just 1,766 by January 31, 2022.

Considering higher vaccination rates but a lower compliance to MPHS protocols — at the tune of 18 percent less — active infections may be at 7,399 by December 31, and 4,832 by January 31.

This means that a downward trend was still observed with an 18 percent less compliance with MPHS protocols.  However, the metrics change if the compliance with MPHS protocols are brought down by 30 percent.

Disregarding the protocols that would lead to higher cases may start the return to high numbers again.

“These are still lower than our active cases as of date, but again, this slight increase in active cases may continue kung ang ating paggalaw, pagtaas ng ating paggalaw, ay tuloy-tuloy na sasabayan ng tuloy-tuloy ding pagbaba ng ating MPHS compliance,” de Guzman said.


“At posibleng marating natin o bumalik tayo doon sa dating dami ng active cases na nare-report,” she added.

Data for Calabarzon also mimics the projection for the nationwide numbers, except that if compliance with MPHS protocols were brought down by 30 percent, active infections would now be larger than the region’s data as of December 11.

From just 1.682 active COVID-19 cases on December 11, and possibly 1,061 and 397 for December 31 and January 31, respectively if current compliance with health protocols are observed, worst-case scenarios point to cases increasing to 1,456 and 2,127 for end of December and end of January.

“‘Yong Calabarzon, where these three scenarios actually mimic our national data.  While tuloy-tuloy ang pagtaas in two of the scenarios, the third one where we also showed a 30 percent decline in our MPHS compliance, means kung kanina halos lumapit lamang tayo sa active cases at that national level, dito makikita natin (tumaas),” de Guzman said

“By end of December, our active cases may still range from 1,061 to 1,456.  But again with this third scenario of a 30 percent decline with MPHS, possible that on January 31, our active cases may range from as low as 397 — if we maintain our current assumptions — pero posibleng mas marami tayong active cases na makita at 2,127 if MPHS compliance declines by 30 percent,” she added.

Numbers for the National Capital Region may be different though: De Guzman pointed out that even with compliance with safety measures going down, active cases may still go down by January and Feburary — possibly due to high vaccination rates in Metro Manila.

However, De Guzman said this should not be taken as a signal to be complacent, as the threat of the pandemic and the viral variants like Omicron is still present.

“It doesn’t mean however na kahit tuloy-tuloy ang pagiging pagbaba ng kaso natin, ay hindi tayo magiging compliant or hindi tayo magpapabakuna.  Napaka-halaga na even with these projections for the [NCR], we don’t let our guards down, and continue to practice our safety protocols, get ourselves vaccinated, and seek early consultation,” she added.

The country has seen a constant decrease in COVID-19 numbers, especially since the August to September surge caused by the Delta variant.  As of Monday, active cases were only at 11,083, as only 360 new cases were recorded by DOH.

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READ: COVID hits 360 more but PH’s active cases dip to 11,083 as 519 patients recover


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TAGS: Calabarzon, COVID-19, DoH, MPHS, Philippine news updates, surge

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