THE number of new Covid-19 cases in the country topped 30,000 on Monday, and independent research group OCTA said the virus outbreak could be nearing its peak.
The health ministry reported 33,169 new infections, up from 28,707 cases on Sunday.
BOOST SHOT Navotas City resident receives booster injection at Navotas City Hospital on Monday, January 10, 2022. The hospital has limited its admissions amid rising Covid-19 cases. PHOTO BY RENÉ DILAN
The total number of cases is a few thousand to less than 3 million, the health ministry said.
Most of the new cases occurred during the period from December 28 to January 10.
The National Capital Region or Metro Manila tops the list with 18,535 cases, followed by Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) with 7,443 cases and Central Luzon with 3,403.
The positivity rate was high at 46%, meaning that almost half of the 73,234 samples processed tested positive for the virus.
Most of the 157,256 active cases are mild and moderate, and severe and critical cases remain stable at around 1,762.
Dr Guido David, senior researcher at OCTA, said the positivity rate in Metro Manila had reached 52%, but the rate was showing signs of slowing down.
In an interview with CNN Philippines on Monday, David said he also believes Covid cases may peak soon.
“There is hope that the positivity rate is now stagnating or nearing the peak. If that happens, that would be great. If the NCR [rate] starts to peak, we might see a downtrend by next week, but it’s too preliminary to say if it peaks, ”David said.
He said the trend is opposite in other regions where the number of reproductions and positivity rates continue to increase.
David said if the number of cases exceeds the number of Covid tests performed, the actual number of cases may be difficult to determine and the government cannot effectively craft an appropriate response to the wave of Covid.
“If we hit 40,000 to 50,000 it will be close to the worst case scenario as we would already lose visibility. If the positivity rate in the NCR reaches 60% … at this point the picture would not be clear more, ”David said.
In a briefing on Monday, Vivencio Dizon, National Task Force for the Deputy Chief of Covid-19 Implementation and Presidential Advisor on the Response to Covid-19, said vaccinations were making the difference in the country’s fight against the pandemic.
“The silver lining talaga natin dito a marami nang nabakunahan. In dahil marami nang nabakunahan, marami po – higit na nakararami sa mga nagkakasakit ng Covid-19, nitong bagong variant na ito is mild to asymptomatic. At ang pruweba po niyan a hindi po ganun kabilis ang pagpuno ng ating mga ospital (The good thing is that we have vaccinated a lot of people and because of that a lot of those who got sick with Covid-19 and this new variant are mild and asymptomatic. The fact that our hospitals aren’t being crowded as evidenced by this, ”Dizon said.
He said the national government was talking with provincial officials in central Luzon and Calabarzon to convert some resorts and hotels into temporary treatment and monitoring facilities.
Dizon stressed that the government will continue to implement risk-based testing, prioritizing the elderly and those with co-morbidities amid calls for mass testing.
The government is also studying the possibility of shortening the isolation periods for people positive for Covid up to seven days for symptomatic people, five days for asymptomatic people and the abolition of the quarantine for closed contacts, he said. -he adds.