COVID-19 transmission was low during holidays, says DOH

COVID-19 transmission was low during holidays, says DOH

/ 01:05 PM January 04, 2024

DOH says COVID-19 transmission was low during the holidays FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — COVID-19 transmission among Filipinos was low during the holidays, the Department of Health (DOH) reported Thursday.

The DOH said that from November to December 2023, coronavirus patients occupied only an average of 12 percent of intensive care unit (ICU) beds in hospitals. Peak occupancy of ICU beds was at 16 percent during that period, it also noted.


The DOH likewise said the occupancy rate for non-ICU beds for COVID-19 cases was also low because it averaged 17 percent and reached a maximum of 19 percent from November to December 2023.


“Our data shows the continuous low transmission and mild presentation of COVID-19 locally,” it said in a statement.

“Our data also shows a consistently low percentage of severe and critical cases among hospital admissions, currently at 11 percent,” it added.

For the week of December 26, 2023, to January 1, 2024, the DOH recorded 3,147 new COVID-19 cases. This count, it said, meant that an average of 450 people contracted the disease per day — which was lower by 10 percent from fresh infections logged the week prior or from December 19-25.

Of these new cases, only 1.28 percent were seriously or critically ill, the DOH noted.

The low transmission of COVID-19 during the holidays can be attributed to “Filipinos choosing healthy behaviors and heeding the call for multiple layers of protection,” according to the agency.

“We also have high vaccination coverage. Critical cases are minimized, because eight out of every 10 eligible senior citizens are protected by a primary series,” it continued.


The health department has repeatedly urged the public to use face masks when attending gatherings and hold celebrations outdoors or in well-ventilated areas.

It again reminded Filipinos to “not be complacent about COVID-19,” encouraging them to also stay at home when feeling ill and to wear a mask if showing symptoms, if healthy but vulnerable (senior citizen or immunocompromised), or if frequently spending time with a vulnerable person.

“These same measures work against many other influenza-like and respiratory illnesses,” the DOH said.


COVID-19 cases rise by 1,821 from Dec 5-11, says DOH

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