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DOH: All regions at low to moderate risk for COVID-19, except for Region 12

All regions in the Philippines are now at low to moderate risk for COVID-19 aside from Region XII, the Department of Health (DOH) announced Friday.

Low risk means the average daily attack rate (ADAR) in an area is less than 1 per 100,000 population while moderate risk means it is between 1 to 7.

At a media briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the region has a positive 2-week growth rate of 28%.

“Nangangahulugan itong mas marami ng 28% ang bilang ng mga kaso sa kanilang lugar nitong huling dalawang linggo kung ikukumpara sa huling tatlo hanggang apat na linggo,” Vergeire said.

(This means their cases increased by 28% in the past two weeks compared to the past three to four weeks.)

Despite this, she said the total bed utilization and ICU utilization rate in all regions, including Region XII, remain at low to moderate risk.

At present, the national health system capacity is also at low risk.

Further, Vergeire said the DOH observed a continuous decline in the number of new COVID-19 cases in the country as cases averaged at 6,103 per day this week, less than half compared to last week.

This is similar to the average number of new infections in October 2021 at 5,985 before the more transmissible Omicron variant hit the Philippines.

“Ang patuloy na pagbaba ng mga kaso at pagpapanatiling low risk ng ating national healthcare system capacity ay patunay that vaccines work,” she said.

(The continuous decline in our cases and the retention of our national healthcare system capacity at low risk proves that vaccines work.)

Compliance with protocols

Meanwhile, Vergeire called on local government units to follow the national protocol.

She said the Inter-Agency Task Force will tackle the policy of Cebu province that allows the entry of unvaccinated foreigners during a meeting.

“Pero, again, let me just remind all local governments, ‘yung binabalangkas na mga panakula o protocols ng IATF, ito po ay isang mandato sa bawat isa sa local government units natin na sumunod,” Vergeire said.

(But again, let me just remind all local governments, each local government unit is mandated to comply with the policies or protocols released by the IATF.)

“Dahil kailangan po ‘yung protocols natin naipatutupad nationally so that we can continuously protect our borders and we can prevent further transmission of diseases,” she added.

(Because we need to implement our protocols nationally so that we can continuously protect our borders and we can prevent further transmission of diseases.) — RSJ, GMA News