COVID spike seen in 14 Luzon provinces | Inquirer News

COVID spike seen in 14 Luzon provinces

/ 04:45 AM August 10, 2022
]Railey Fave, 12, receives his booster shot against COVID-19 from the Philippine Red Cross and Dagupan City Health Office during the “Brigada Bakuna,” a program under the Brigada Eskwela kickoff at Dagupan City National High School. Local governments are rolling out vaccine boosters especially with the uptick of COVID cases in several provinces in Luzon. STORY: COVID spike seen in 14 Luzon provinces

PROTECTING STUDENTS | Railey Fave, 12, receives his booster shot against COVID-19 from the Philippine Red Cross and Dagupan City Health Office during the “Brigada Bakuna,” a program under the Brigada Eskwela kickoff at Dagupan City National High School. Local governments are rolling out vaccine boosters, especially with the uptick of COVID cases in several provinces in Luzon. (Photo by WILLIE LOMIBAO / Inquirer Northern Luzon)

LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte, Philippines — At least 14 provinces in Luzon have posted a “very high” weekly COVID-19 positivity rate, which some local officials believe could be partly due to the public’s waning immunity against the viral disease.

Citing data from the Department of Health (DOH) from July 31 to Aug. 6, independent analytics group OCTA Research said among these provinces were La Union and Pangasinan in the Ilocos region.

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La Union’s positivity rate was at 29.4 percent, which rose from the 24 percent registered from July 17 to July 30. Pangasinan had a positivity rate of 25 percent, up from 21.1 percent the previous week.

Positivity rate refers to the percentage of tests that turn out positive for COVID-19. Above 20 percent is considered very high, OCTA said.

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The entire Ilocos region saw an uptick in the weekly record of COVID-19 cases, logging at least 924 cases between July 31 and Aug. 6. The figure was 42.4 percent higher than the 651 cases reported between July 24 and July 30.

Low vax rate

“We really need everyone’s help to convince [people] and provide them with the protection [they] need against the virus, especially now that cases are already on the rise,” said Dr. Paula Paz Sydiongco, the DOH director in the Ilocos, during the launch of the intensified COVID-19 vaccination coverage in the region on July 26.Booster vaccination coverage in the region remained low, with only 25.75 percent, or 969,685 people, of the over 3.7 million fully vaccinated residents receiving their booster shots, according to DOH data.

“If our booster vaccination coverage remains low, there is a chance that critical and severe COVID-19 cases may rise because one’s immunity against the virus would wane over time,” Dr. Rheuel Bobis, COVID-19 response coordinator of the regional DOH, said in a recent television interview.

The health-care utilization rate in the region, however, remained at a “safe” level, with 34 percent, or 84 of the 245 intensive care unit beds dedicated to COVID-19 patients, already occupied.

According to OCTA, the province of Camarines Sur in Bicol region posted the highest weekly virus positivity rate at 48.7 percent, as of Aug. 6, which rose from the 30.3 percent it logged on July 30.

In the July 17 to July 30 monitoring of the DOH, Bicol recorded 95 new COVID-19 cases. At least 66 of these cases were reported in Camarines Sur.

The weekly COVID-19 positivity rate in Zambales province was also tagged as “very high.”

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OCTA said the weekly COVID-19 positive rate in Zambales rose from 27.1 percent to 28.6 percent.

As of Sunday, Zambales’ number of active COVID-19 cases reached 106 after logging 10 new infections, data from the provincial health office showed.

Aside from Zambales, the Central Luzon provinces of Nueva Ecija, Pampanga and Tarlac posted “very high” virus positivity rate.

Other provinces in Luzon that registered high COVID-19 positivity rate include Albay, Benguet, Cagayan, Cavite, Isabela, Laguna and Quezon.

—REPORTS FROM JOHN MICHAEL MUGAS, MA. APRIL MIER-MANJARES AND JOANNA ROSE AGLIBOT

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TAGS: Luzon COVID-19 cases, OCTA Research
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