COVID cases drop in week of Christmas amid parties, events | Inquirer News

COVID cases drop in week of Christmas amid parties, events

/ 05:32 AM December 27, 2022

Patients outside the emergency room of Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center in Manila.

Patients outside the emergency room of Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center in Manila. (File photo by RICHARD A. REYES / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — COVID-19 cases dropped during Christmas week despite the return of in-person parties and gatherings after two years of the pandemic, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

From Dec. 19 to 25, laboratory tests confirmed an average of 813 COVID-19 cases daily, which was 25 percent lower than the 1,082 average cases detected daily during the previous week.


The DOH weekly bulletins reported an average of 1,000 to 1,100 daily detected cases in December.


In its latest bulletin, the DOH said out of 5,690 people who tested positive for the virus last week, three were in severe or critical condition.

Along with the drop in daily cases, the number of active cases or persons currently infected with the virus also went down to its lowest in nearly six months.

As of Dec. 26, there were 15,937 active cases compared to 17,593 a week ago.

Of these active cases, around 23 percent, or 3,775, are admitted to hospitals while the rest are presumed to be recovering at home.

There are currently 516 COVID-19 patients in hospitals who are in severe or critical condition.

Among the confirmed 172 more deaths due to COVID-19, the DOH reported that nearly half occurred in 2020 and 2021.


This raised the official death toll to 65,236 out of 4,061,663 confirmed cases.

Decreased hospitalization

Healthcare utilization rate, or the percentage of occupied COVID-19 hospital beds, also further improved, according to the DOH data.

The usage of COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) beds dropped to 19.1 percent from 20.4 percent a week ago.

Occupancy of COVID-19 non-ICU beds went down to 17.6 percent from 22.5 percent also from a week ago.

There are now 73,756,732 individuals fully vaccinated with the primary two vaccine doses, including those who received the single-dose primary vaccine from Janssen. This is 94.44 percent of the government’s target to vaccinate at least 78.1 million individuals.

However, only 21.1 million of them have received at least one booster shot to ramp up waning immunity protection from the primary doses.

Health authorities have recommended two booster shots to healthcare workers, persons at least 50 years old, and individuals 18 to 49 years old with existing medical conditions.

Those who are 12 to 49 years old are allowed to receive only one booster dose while children 5 to 11 years old are not yet eligible for booster shots.

But amid the decreasing cases and hospitalizations, the DOH last week announced that a strain of the COVID-19 Omicron variant driving surges in China had been detected in the Philippines.

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The DOH’s latest biosurveillance report said four cases of the Omicron subvariant BF.7 were detected in the country based on the genome sequencing conducted on Dec. 14 and Dec. 15 by the Philippine Genome Center.

The only information the department provided was that the four infected individuals are in Metro Manila.


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