DOH exec: Metro Manila's daily COVID cases may reach 1,200 - 5,300 by Oct | Inquirer News
But DOH officer-in-charge says cases may be lower with observance of health protocols

DOH exec: Metro Manila’s daily COVID cases may reach 1,200 – 5,300 by Oct

/ 08:40 PM September 09, 2022

COVID-19 cases in the National Capital Region may reach between 1,259 to 5,375 cases per day in October, projections shared by the Department of Health (DOH) on Friday showed.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire talks to reporters via Zoom meeting in this file photo taken on April 23, 2020. file photo / DAPHNE GALVEZ

MANILA, Philippines — COVID-19 cases in the National Capital Region may reach between 1,259 and 5,375 cases per day in October, projections by the Department of Health (DOH) on Friday showed.

According to DOH officer-in-charge and Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, approximately 5,300 COVID-19 infections per day are possible with a slow booster update, particularly given the mobility of the general public.


“Base dito, kung magtutuloy-tuloy ‘yong ating mga booster slow update, at ‘yong ating pagbabakuna sa nakakatanda, at wala naman bago pang variant na lalabas, and the mobility remains at this level, we might see around 1,259 to 5,375 cases per day,” she told reporters in a briefing.


(If booster update remains slow for the elderly and there are no new variants, and the mobility remains at this level, we might see around 1,259 to 5,375 cases per day.)

“This may start, start of October and pwede itong magtuloy-tuloy [and this may continue],” she added.

But Vergeire reminded the public that these are mere projections — noting that if people continue to do safe practices like wearing masks, physical distancing, and other measures, a downtrend in infections may be seen.

“Pero katulad nga ng lagi kong sinasabi, these are projections ano, and these projections are based on scientific assumptions.  So ngayon kung itong mga scientific assumptions na ‘to ay hindi matutupad, halimbawa tumaas ang booster update natin, halimbawa ang ating mga kababayan mas naging mas maingat at mas lalong sumunod sa mga protocols natin for safety, this may not be happening,” she explained.

(But just like what I always say, these are projections and these projections are based on scientific assumptions. So if these scientific assumptions do not materialize, for example if our booster update increases, Filipinos continue to practice safety measures and intensify observance of health protocols, this may not happen.)

“This may not happen and pwedeng magtuloy-tuloy na bumaba na ang ating kaso dito sa ating bansa,” she added.


(This may not happen, and COVID-19 cases in the country may continue to decrease.)

As the government considers changing its policy on face masks outdoors, these projections emerged. Recently, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said that the Department of Tourism (DOT) found more tourists visiting countries with fewer mask restrictions, which means more money for the government.

The proposal came as President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. visited Singapore, which has made wearing face masks optional except in public transportation and high-risk settings like hospitals.

READ: Maskless like SG? DOT mulls dropping masks outdoors to attract more tourists 

However, Angeles clarified that the DOH, the primary government agency assigned to the country’s healthcare system, would have a say in the policy.

READ: Face mask to be optional when outdoors nationwide 

It’s been reported that at the meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), Vergeire wanted to keep the mask-on policy but later agreed to make it optional outside and in areas that weren’t crowded.

READ: DOH for retention of mandatory face mask policy, compromise reached — Vergeire 

In terms of healthcare utilization rates, Vergeire said the country is still doing well, except for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, where a spike in the intensive care unit (ICU) utilization rate was observed.

“Our healthcare utilization right now is still at low-risk, less than 30 percent for both the ward utilization and the ICU utilization.  Kaya lamang meron tayong nakikitang medyo pagtaas sa BARMM area para sa ICU utilization, no’ng tinignan natin, dahil meron silang labing-isang severe at critical (cases) na naka-admit sa kanilang 20 ospital,” she said.

(Our healthcare utilization is at low risk, less than 30 percent for both the ward and ICU utilization. However, we observed a slight increase in the BARMM area regarding ICU utilization. When we looked at it, it is because they have 11 severe and critical cases admitted in just 20 hospitals.)

“‘Pag tinignan natin napaka-konti lang talaga ng kanilang space o ‘yong kanilang number of beds para sa kanilang ICU, kaya pag konti lang nang pag-taas ng pag-admit, tumataas ang utilization rate.  Pero just to say and tell you na sa ibang lugar sa bansa, wala naman tayong nakikitang gano’n,” she added.

(If we look further at the data, there are only a few spaces or beds for their ICU, that’s why if there is a slight increase in ICU cases, the utilization rate sees a sharp rise. But to tell you, in other areas in the country, we are not seeing any spike right now.)

Vergeire assured the public that they are monitoring the situation in BARMM.

“So we’re closely monitoring at atin po talagang binibigyan ng lubos na assistance ang ating BARMM in terms of dito sa pagbabakuna pati na rin po sa kanilang healthcare system,” she added.

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(So we’re closely monitoring and assisting our BARMM in terms of vaccination and their healthcare system.)

TAGS: cases, DoH, Health, pandemic

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