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DOH: Philippines now at high-risk for COVID-19

The Philippines is once again classified as a high-risk area for COVID-19 as cases nationwide rose by 47% in the last two weeks and the highly contagious Delta variant continues to spread, the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the country averaged 8,829 new cases per day from August 2 to 8, higher than the average of 7,029 new infections in the week before.

“Nationally, our case classification is now at high risk,” she told a briefing.

Vergeire added that “local Delta cases have been detected in 13 out of our 17 regions in the country.”

The Philippines logged a high average daily attack rate (ADAR) of 7.20 cases per 100,000 population, healthcare utilization rate of 54.70%, and intensive care unit (ICU) occupancy rate of 61.71% as of August 6.

Just over a week ago, the country’s risk classification was elevated from “low” to “moderate” after a fresh uptick in cases in July

The DOH also flagged Metro Manila, the Cordillera Region, and Regions 1, 2, 4A, 7, and 10 as high-risk areas due to their high ADAR and moderate level two-week case growth rate.

Malabon, Navotas, Pateros at critical risk

DOH data also showed that cases in Metro Manila grew by 123% during the past two weeks compared to the previous three to four weeks.

The capital region’s ADAR stood at 12.70 cases per 100,000 population while its healthcare utilization was at 54.11% and ICU occupancy was at 59.04%.

Malabon, Navotas, and Pateros were tagged as critical-risk areas due to their high two-week case growth rate and ADAR.

The DOH earlier said all areas in Metro Manila have recorded at least one case of the Delta variant

Over the weekend, Vergeire also said active cases in the capital region are still expected to spike despite the strict lockdown imposed until August 20. 

Increase in COVID-19 cases

Earlier in the day, the DOH said increase in COVID-19 cases in the country has been recorded in all age groups and not just among children.

From July 13 to 25, the DOH recorded an overall 59% increase in cases among all age groups compared with the July 26 to August 8 period.

“Additionally, among the age groups, the highest increase was observed among the 30-39 age group and lowest among those 80 years old and above during the same period,” it said in a statement. — RSJ, GMA News