Metro Manila now at moderate risk for COVID-19 — DOH
UPDATED MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday said it has reclassified Metro Manila from low risk to moderate risk for COVID-19 after recording an increase in daily average infections in the past two weeks.
DOH officer in charge Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said new COVID-19 cases per day in the country averaged 2,334 from Sept. 22 to 28, which is two percent more than the previous week and seven percent more than two weeks ago.
“So ‘pag tinignan po natin unti unting tumataas, NCR now is at moderate risk dahil 13 out of 17 cities and lone municipality in NCR ay nasa moderate risk din ngayon,” said Vergeire in an interview on ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo.
(The number of new cases increased gradually, NCR is now at moderate risk because 13 out of the 17 cities and lone municipality in NCR are also at moderate risk now.)
Vergeire said that all areas in the country continue to have hospitalization rates below 50 percent, with some areas in Metro Manila — which she did not specify — recording an increase.
“Meron lamang pong apat o lima na lugar sa NCR kung saan nakitaan natin na medyo merong pagkapuno ang kanilang mga hospitals sa kanilang ward,” said Vergeire.
(There are four or five areas in NCR where some hospital wards are full.)
Hence, Vergeire said the DOH met with local government units and hospital administrators in Metro Manila to transfer mild and asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 to decongest hospitals.
Vergeire cited various factors contributing to the increase in new cases.
“So sa ngayon ‘pag tinginan natin sitwasyon natin we have different contributing factors, unang una mobility. Napakataas ng mobility ngayon, nagbukas ang mga eskwelahan tumaas ang mobility at syempre ‘yung behavior po ng mga kababayan kung sila ay magkakapabakuna o magsusuot ng mask,” said Vergeire.
(So now when we look at our situation we have different contributing factors, first of all mobility. Mobility is very high today, schools have opened, mobility has increased and of course the behavior of the countrymen regarding vaccination and face masks.)
In a press briefing during the afternoon of the same day, Vergeire disclosed that only the cities of Malabon, Valenzuela, Caloocan, and Navotas are currently under low-risk classification, while the rest of NCR is under moderate-risk.
Meanwhile, Pasig, Muntinlupa, Malabon, Makati, and Navotas were the cities to have an increased hospitalization rate.
When asked how the cities of Navotas and Malabon have increasing hospitalization rates, despite being at low risk, Vergeire explained that this may be due to the small number of beds for COVID-19 wards in the hospitals.
“Kakaunti kaya, tumataas ‘yung admissions (there are few beds, so the admissions increased),” said Vergeire.
On September 12, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. issued Executive Order No. 3, which allowed the voluntary use of face masks outdoors.
This came a few weeks after the country also resumed in-person classes nationwide.
Based on the DOH’s COVID-19 tracker, there are 27, 553 active COVID-19 cases active cases as of Sept. 28, 2022.
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