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Philippines eyes asking WHO if country already contained COVID-19

The Philippines will ask the World Health Organization if it would already declare the COVID-19 pandemic in the country controlled and contained if its testing positivity rate of lower than five percent continues for two weeks.

According to Chino Gaston's report over "24 Oras," Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said they are seeking guidance from WHO following the decrease in COVID-19 positivity rate in the country.

"For two weeks, we hope to have a positivity rate lower than 5% and we can ask guidance from WHO if we can declare that the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines has been controlled and contained," Duque said.

DOH data showed that the positivity rate had been below 5% since November 13 when it stood at 4.5%.

The rest of the positivity rates since then were:

  • November 14 - 3.9%
  • November 15 - 4.1%
  • November 16 - 3.2%
  • November 17 - 3.5%
  • November 18 - 3.4%
  • November 19 - 3.5%
  • November 20 - 3.2%
  • November 21 - 2.8%
  • November 22 - 2.8%
  • November 23 - 2.3%
  • November 24 - 2.5%

The WHO has recommended that the positivity rate should be below 5% as recording 5% rate or higher indicates there is high virus transmission.

According to data from GMA News Research, the Philippines recorded an average of 1,398 new COVID-19 cases in the last seven days.

Despite the decrease in fresh virus infections, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez reminded Filipinos to not be complacent as a fourth wave of coronavirus infections could be possible in the country.

"Yes, there will be a possibility that we will have a fourth wave again. Our reminder is for all Filipinos Filipinos to wear masks and to get vaccinated and discipline themselves," Galvez said. -NB, GMA News