October 18, 2021

Rise in Covid cases in some regions slows; PH still high-risk


(PNA photo by Robert Alfiler)

MANILA – The increase of Covid-19 infections in some regions is slowing down but the country’s case classification and health systems capacity remain at high risk, a health official said Monday.

Speaking at an online media forum, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said 95 percent of the provinces, highly urbanized cities and independent component cities are still flagged under alert level 3 or 4.

“Cases may still continue to increase next week due to higher transmissibility of Delta variant of concern and as we continue active case finding in our areas,” Vergeire said.

As of Sept. 5, the top five regions with the most number of new Covid-19 cases are the National Capital Region, Region 4-A (Calabarzon), Region 3, Region 1 and Region 7.

The top five areas with the most number of new Covid-19 cases are Quezon City and the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Bulacan.

“Our epidemic curve shows a new peak of cases every week since the second week of August. Cases from Aug. 30 to Sept. 5 recorded 18,292 cases per day, an increase of 1,779 or 11 percent cases per day compared to the previous week of August 23 to 29 which was at 16, 513 cases,” Vergeire said.

All areas in the NCR Plus, she added, are showing an increase in the number of cases while Luzon areas are showing steep increase in infections.

A plateau in the number of cases was observed in the Visayas areas and a continued increase in cases in Mindanao.

The country’s two-week growth rate is at 32 percent with an average daily attack rate of 15 percent per 100,000 population.

For the period of Sept. 1 to 5, the nation’s average deaths per day due to Covid-19 is 40 while the total number of deaths is 199.

Meantime, an additional 279 cases of the highly contagious Delta variant were detected, breaching the 2,000-mark.

Vergeire said of the 11,132 samples sequenced and assigned with lineage as of Aug. 27, 24 percent of samples were positive for the Beta variant, 21.5 percent for the Alpha variant and 16 percent for the Delta variant, 0.02 percent for the Gamma variant.

She added that about 62 percent of the 11,132 samples with assigned lineages are positive for the Alpha, Beta or Delta variant, and all regions either have Alpha or Beta variant while 16 regions have Delta variant cases.

All cities in the NCR were found to have a variant of concern.

Meanwhile, about 513 or 61 percent of the 839 samples from returning overseas Filipinos were positive for a variant of concern.

The Department of Health called for the strict implementation of granular lockdowns, shortening of interval between detection and isolation, enforcement of minimum public health standards adherence to cut community transmission and ramp up priority vaccination to protect the vulnerable population. (PNA)


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