High time to remove ‘emergency’ label on COVID-19, says expert
MANILA, Philippines — It is high time to remove the “emergency” label on COVID-19 in the country, an infectious disease expert said Wednesday.
In a Laging Handa public briefing, Dr. Rontgene Solante was asked how long should the assessment be to declare COVID-19 in the country as past its emergency phase.
“In fact, sa pag-uusap namin sa mga ibang eksperto rin, I think it’s high time na na talagang puwede na nating tanggalin ang emergency na label ng COVID-19 because of the persistent and sustained number of cases na talagang mababa na ‘no,” he replied.
(In fact, in my discussion with other experts, I think it’s high time that we can remove the emergency label on COVID-19 because of the persistent and sustained number of cases which is already low.)
Solante added that the country has available COVID-19 vaccines and antiviral agents to address a potential rise in cases.
However, the government will have to wait for the guidance of the World Health Organization, he said.
Will not overwhelm healthcare facilities
Meanwhile, Solante said that while there is presence of the highly transmissible Omicron sublineages, it would not overwhelm the country’s healthcare facilities.
“Alam natin na itong mga (We know these) sublineages of the Omicron, being highly transmissible, but they don’t cause a lot of these symptoms ‘no. And in fact, kung sasabihin man natin (if we’ll say), a lot of these are underreported because most of those with Omicron are asymptomatic or very mild symptoms na sa tingin mukhang hindi naman ‘no (I don’t think so),” he said.
“So in a way, this is good news dahil itong mikrobyo na ito ay hindi na nagko-cause ng (because these microbes do not cause) severe infection. At ang prediction natin dito (And our prediction), it will not really cause overwhelming capacity sa mga (in our) healthcare facilities,” he further noted.
Based on the Department of Health’s data, the country logged 133 new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, driving the number of active cases to 2,415.
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