Philippines’ COVID-19 cases doubling every 2.2 days –Vergeire

By JOVILAND RITA, GMA News

Published January 7, 2022 5:36pm

Initial projections show that the number of new COVID-19 cases in the Philippines is doubled every two days, the Department of Health (DOH) said Friday.

“[N]akikita natin na ang case doubling time natin is 2.2 days, ibig sabihin every two days nakikita natin nagdo-doble ang numero ng mga kaso,”Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said at the Palace briefing.

(We see that the case doubling time is 2.2 days. This means that every two days, we see that the number of cases is doubled.)

This data indicates that the Omicron variant may be five to six times more transmissible, she added.

The Philippines earlier reported 21,819 new cases, the highest since September 12 last year, where the country logged 21,411 new infections.

Dr. Edsel Salvana, a member of the DOH Technical Advisory Group, said it took about four weeks for the surge to die down in South Africa.

“As long as we are able to maintain our healthcare workers’ component and we keep our healthcare workforce healthy, and everyone cooperates, ‘yung four weeks na ‘yun, baka naman we can minimize the deaths and we can minimize the hospitalization,” Salvana said.

(As long as we are able to maintain our healthcare workers’ component and we keep our healthcare workforce healthy, and everyone cooperates, we can minimize deaths and hospitalizations within four weeks.)

“Dahil mataas ang vaccination rate ng Metro Manila, may laban tayo dito (because our vaccination rate in Metro Manila is high, we can fight this),” he added.

According to Vergeire, though the Philippines cannot stop the transmission all at once, the country may stop the further increase of cases in the following weeks.

“So kung tayo po lahat ay magtutulong tulong, aside from the restrictions that we are imposing, nandyan naman po ‘yung posibilidad that we can stop further the increase in cases in the coming weeks,” she said.

When questioned if cases may increase to 20,000 to 30,000 by next week and then die down by the end of the month, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said it was possible.

“Posibleng mangyari yan, ano, pero higit sa lahat kinakailangan ng pag-iingat. Kasi ayaw ko naman sabihin natin mabilis lang ito, ah ganon, tapos mga tao magiging pabaya. Mahirap yan,” Duque told Super Radyo dzBB.

(That is possible, but we should be careful. Because I don’t want to say that it’s going to be fast and then the people will be complacent. That will be difficult.)

“Marami pa din tayong hindi nalalaman tungkol sa Omicron dahil bago nga itong virus na ito (we still don’t know a lot of things about Omicron),” he added.–LDF, GMA News

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