By Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo
OCTA Research fellow Dr. Guido David said on Monday, January 31, 2022, that the worst in coronavirus disease (Covid-19) Omicron variant-driven surge in most parts of the Philippines is already over.
David said Covid-19 cases in most parts of the country have already peaked, or are currently peaking and moving toward the downward trajectory.
“It does not mean that it’s all clear. We should still follow health protocols as we go out, you know there is still significant number of cases especially in many parts of the country, so we should still have to be mindful of the health protocols. Self-isolate if we are feeling symptoms. We have to wear face mask,” he said in an online forum.
“But as far as the worst, we believe that the worst is over in most parts of the country,” he added.
David said cases in the provinces of Bukidnon, Camiguin, Cotabato, Davao de Oro, Davao del Norte, Davao Occidental, Davao Oriental, Maguindanao, Negros Oriental, Sarangani, South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat were still at “accelerating stage” and this was because surge in these areas happened later than the others.
He said Covid-19 cases in the cities of Cebu and Davao, which were among the major countries in the country, were also on a downward trajectory.
“Cebu City is actually more advanced in terms of the decrease. What I mean is that the decrease is happening earlier in Cebu City compared to let’s say Mandaue, also in Davao City,” said David.
David added that cases in the National Capital Region (NCR), Cavite and Rizal may further drop in the next one to two weeks, and that they may be classified as low risk for Covid-19 outbreak.
He maintained their earlier projection that by February 14, new cases in the NCR will decline to 500 to 1,000 per day from the current average of 2,000.
While he expressed belief that the National Government should have waited for one to two weeks more before NCR and seven areas were downgraded to Alert Level 2, David said he understands the shift.
“I understand the re-aligning of the paradigm because the Covid has taken a different shape. Now, it is milder and not as threatening to the healthcare system, that is why it gives us more leeway to relax the restrictions,” said David.
On Sunday, January 30, the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) downgraded the alert status in Metro Manila, Batanes, Bulacan, Cavite and Rizal in Luzon; Biliran and Southern Leyte in the Visayas; and Basilan in Mindanao from Alert Level 3 to 2.
Over 80 other areas, including provinces and cities in the country, were placed under Alert Level 3.
The Department of Health (DOH) recorded on Monday, January 31, 14,546 new Covid-19 cases, along with 112 new deaths and 26,500 recoveries.
The Philippines currently has a total of 190,818 active Covid-19 cases. (SunStar Philippines)