COVID cases in PH may increase to more than 500 a day due to Omicron subvariant — expert
MANILA, Philippines — There is a big possibility that there will be an uptick of COVID-19 cases in the country, even going up to as high as over 500 cases per day, due to the presence of of a new sublineage of Omicron, BA.2.12.1, an infectious disease expert said Thursday.
Dr. Rontgene Solante said that upticks in the number of infections may be experienced especially in areas with low vaccination coverage and in dense populations like Metro Manila.
However, despite the feared increase of cases, it may not affect the hospitalization rate of the country, he added.
“Ang expectations natin dito, tataas ang mga kaso, especially in those areas na wala masyado or mababa ang vaccination rate. Importante na alam natin itong sublineage nito ay napakataas ang transmissibility. Vulnerable ang population natin especially for those na wala talagang bakuna,” he said in a Laging Handa public briefing.
(We expect that cases will increase, especially in areas with low vaccination rate. It is important to note that the sublineage has a high transmissibility rate. Vulnerable are populations that have no vaccination at all.)
“Malaking posibilidad ‘yan na medyo tataas ang mga kaso but I don’t think it will make enough to affect our hospitalization rate,” Solante added
(There is a high chance that the cases will go up but I don’t think it will affect our hospitalization rate.)
He said cases may go up to more than 500 a day, especially in regions with low vaccination rate.
He also pointed out that the true number of COVID-19 may not be accurately reflected since testing for the disease is also low, with some opting not to get tested despite having symptoms.
“It might not be able to reflect kung ano ‘yung totoong number of cases na nangyayari ngayon sa ground over that of those who were tested and found positive in the RT PCR,” Solante said.
In the latest report of the Department of Health (DOH), only 103 new COVID-19 cases were logged, with active cases further going down to 2,241.
The new subvariant of Omicron has so far been detected in 11 foreigners and three Filipinos.
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