More than half of the Philippines, including Metro Manila, will stay under the most lenient Alert Level 1, pending the review of the alert level classifications and a meeting between President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Department of Health OIC Maria Rosario Vergeire on Monday.
“Pursuant to the alert levels on COVID-19, the President will be conferring with DOH OIC Vergeire on Monday (July 18) for any action thereon. Meanwhile, the IATF will continue to monitor the status of the pandemic,” Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said in a statement yesterday.
A total of 85 of 121 provinces, highly urbanized cities (HUCs), independent component cities (ICCs), as well as 166 of 744 other component cities and municipalities, have been placed under Alert Level 1.
The OCTA Research group on Saturday noted COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila could peak within seven days, as the numbers continued to rise but with a lower growth rate at 28 percent.
OCTA Research fellow Dr. Guido David said the 28 percent growth rate from July 9 to 15 was lower compared to the 41 percent from the previous week.
“With the current rate of decrease, the peak in the NCR could happen within seven days,” he said.
The DOH earlier warned COVID-19 cases may surge to 17,105 daily by the end of July on the back of lax compliance to health protocols and slow vaccine booster uptake.
The DOH based its projections on the FASSSTER model on the assumption that a 21 percent decline in minimum public health standard (MPHS) compliance is maintained.
If compliance improves to 20 percent, the DOH projects daily cases to hit the low estimate of 12,451 by the end of the month.
If compliance deteriorates Alert…further to 22 percent, daily cases may hit the higher estimate of 22,197.
The FASSSTER model considers vaccine effectiveness, mobility of the population, minimum public health standards and isolation protocols compliance, and the entry of imported cases.
The DOH also warned that more COVID-19 patients could be hospitalized by the end of August or the start of September as immunity wanes.
Fir his part, President Marcos on Saturday reiterated the importance of COVID-19 vaccination and boosters, which he said were key to his recovery after contracting the virus for a second time.
“This is the second time I tested positive for COVID. And were it not for the vaccine and booster, I’m sure my condition would have been worse,” the 64-year-old Marcos said.
He said the virus did not reach his lungs nor did it become complicated.
Marcos, however, clarified he is not making booster shots mandatory.
“We do not need to mandate this because we are free to choose for our own health,” he said.
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