Philippines at ‘very low risk” for COVID-19 amid surges in nearby countries -OCTA

The Philippines on Friday was rated “very low risk” for COVID-19 as neighboring countries like Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei experience a surge in infections, independent monitoring group OCTA Research said on Sunday.

In a tweet, OCTA Research fellow Dr. Guido David explained that the Philippines recorded an average daily attack rate (ADAR) of 0.47 on March 18, with a seven-day average of 527 cases.

ADAR pertains to the incidence showing the average number of new cases in a period per 100,000 people.

Meanwhile, the country’s growth rate in new cases from the previous week as compared to the current week was at -22%.

The Department of Health (DOH) announced on Tuesday that all areas in the Philippines were now considered to be at low risk for COVID-19.

OCTA also reported that Timor Leste, Taiwan, Cambodia, and China were also at “very low risk” for the viral disease with an ADAR ranging from 0.13 to 0.86.

However, South Korea, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei are all under the “severe” category, with South Korea recording the highest ADAR in East Asia countries at 788.15.

Japan and Thailand, meanwhile, were under the “very high” category with an ADAR of 39.68 and 34.18, respectively.

OCTA further reported that Indonesia and Laos were both under “moderate” risk for COVID-19, while Myanmar was under “low” risk with 1.08 ADAR.

In the Philippines, the National Capital Region and 47 other areas were placed under Alert Level 1 from March 16 to March 31.

Under Alert Level 1, intrazonal and interzonal travel is allowed regardless of age and comorbidities. All establishments, persons, or activities, are allowed to operate, work, or be undertaken at full on-site or venue/seating capacity provided it is consistent with minimum public health standards.

The Philippines on Saturday logged 525 new COVID-19 infections, increasing the nationwide tally to 3,673,717.

The DOH on Friday said it had not yet detected the hybrid coronavirus mutation “Deltacron” in the country, and that safeguards and surveillance systems were in place amid the discovery of a new COVID-19 variant in Israel. –DVM/KG, GMA News

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