Philippines logs 5,690 new COVID-19 cases over Christmas week

By GISELLE OMBAY, GMA Integrated News

The Philippines recorded 5,690 new COVID-19 infections from December 19 to December 25, 2022, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Monday.
Based on the agency’s latest bulletin, the number of cases logged over the past week was lower than the 7,572 cases recorded from December 12 to December 18.

The daily case average for the recent week was 813, a 25% lower tally than the previous 1,082.

The past week is the eighth with fewer than 10,000 weekly cases.

The weekly total and the daily average number of cases are the lowest in 25 reporting weeks.

A total of 172 additional verified COVID-19-related deaths were belatedly recorded by the DOH. These deaths were registered from August 2020 to December 2022.

Of the 172 deaths, 27 occurred in December 2022, 10 in November 2022, 15 in October 2022, 19 in September 2022, five in August 2022, two in March 2022, nine in February 2022, 10 in January 2022, two in December 2021, two in November 2021, 10 in October 2021, 17 in September 2021, nine in August 2021, four in July 2021, four in June 2021, four in May 2021, 13 in April 2021, six in March 2021, one in November 2020, one in October 2020, one in September 2020, and another one in August 2020.
Twenty-four of these fatalities also occurred between December 12 to December 25 alone.

DOH announced on Friday that four cases of the Omicron subvariant BF.7 have been detected in the Philippines.

The agency, however, stressed that current evidence does not suggest any difference in severity or clinical manifestations between the BF.7 and the original Omicron variant.

626 new COVID-19 cases on Monday

Meanwhile, the DOH registered 626 fresh COVID-19 cases in the Philippines on Monday.

This marks the fourth straight day of fewer than 1,000 new daily cases and brings the country’s total nationwide tally to 4,062,191. Active infections decreased to 15,472.

The number of total recoveries increased to 3,981,457 while the death toll is now at 65,262.

Metro Manila had the highest number of new cases in the last 14 days with 4,704. It was  followed by CALABARZON at 2,092; Central Luzon, 1,020; Central Visayas at 538 and Cagayan Valley at 439.

The country’s occupancy rate remains at low risk with 13.7% or 5,042 of the total 36,887 beds occupied and 31,845 vacant.

Some 3,860 individuals were tested for the virus on Christmas Day. 269 laboratories submitted their results.

Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines Inc. (PHAPI) president Dr. Jose Rene de Grano said Monday that there was a possibility that new COVID-19 infections will increase again considering the recent detection of Omicron subvariant BF.7, and the gathering of people over Christmas.

Hospitals, vaccination updates

Further, at least 73.7 million Filipinos, or 94.44% of the government’s target population are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to DOH.

Of this number, 19,196 completed their primary series from December 19 to 25.

The number of boosted individuals also increased to 21.1 million, of whom 48,789 were boosted in the same period.

Meanwhile, at least 6.9 million senior citizens, or 79.44% of the target A2 population have also received their primary vaccine series.

Data also showed that the severe and critical cases admitted in hospitals due to COVID-19 declined to 516, as of December 25. This was 11.6% of the total COVID-19 admissions, according to DOH.

Of the new cases recorded from December 19 to 25, there were three individuals tagged as new severe or critical cases. DOH said this was only 0.05% of the new cases reported for the week.

Of the 2,367 intensive care unit (ICU) beds, 451, or 19.1% were occupied. Meanwhile, 3,324, or 17.6% of the 18,935 non-ICU COVID-19 beds were in use. –NB, GMA Integrated News

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