Duque says increase in COVID-19 cases probably due to Omicron
MANILA, Philippines — The latest increase in new COVID-19 cases in the country is probably due to the Omicron variant, according to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
“Talagang nakakaalarma ‘yan. Walang kaduda duda. Dahil nga dumoble tayo sa loob ng isang araw… i-assume na natin na dahil sumipa nang doble sa loob ng isang araw ang kaso, malamang Omicron na rin ‘yan,” Duque said in an interview with DZBB.
(That is really alarming. There is no doubt. Because new cases double in a day, let us assume that this is probably due to the Omicron variant.)
The DOH earlier said that cases are expected to increase due to increased mobility and reduced compliance to minimum public health standards amid the holiday season.
However, the DOH earlier noted that “we cannot still be certain that the increase in cases is due to the Omicron variant.”
The DOH has so far confirmed 11 imported cases and three local cases of the Omicron variant.
Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Units are currently investigating the local cases and tracing all their possible close contacts, according to DOH.
“While more definitive data is needed, the epidemiological investigation on the 3 local cases indicates there is a high possibility of local transmission,” the health agency said in a statement.
New coronavirus infections have been sharply increasing in the country in recent days. From just less than 500 cases in early and mid-December, the DOH reported 421 new cases on December 28; 889 on December 29; 1,623 on December 30, and; 2,961 cases on December 31.
Independent analytics group OCTA Research said they project about 4,000 new COVID-19 cases nationwide and 3,000 cases in Metro Manila on New Year’s Day.
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