The National Capital Region (NCR) has already surpassed the wave of infections of the Omicron BA.5 and BA.4 subvariants of the coronavirus which have resulted in the decline of the new COVID-19 cases, an infectious diseases expert said Thursday.
Dr. Rontgene Solante made the remark when asked what factors contributed to the NCR’s COVID-19 positivity rate decreasing to 7.8%, as reported by OCTA Research fellow Dr. Guido David on Wednesday.
“We already passed the worst of the BA.5 and BA.4. Ibig sabihin, nalagpasan na natin ‘yung tinatawag natin na wave, so pababa na ang mga kaso," he said in a public briefing.
"Second, dahil bumaba na siya, we also developed some form of population immunity na nakukuha natin doon sa infection. Nag-develop na ng antibodies against BA.5," he added.
(We have passed the BA.5 and BA.4 wave, so the cases are going down. Second, because the cases are going down, we have also developed some form of population immunity that we get from COVID-19 infection. Antibodies against BA.5 were already developed.)
He pointed out that the region’s hospital utilization rate and intensive care unit (ICU) occupancy are also going down.
Based on OCTA’s report, NCR's seven-day positivity rate—or the percentage of people who were found positive for COVID-19 among the total number of individuals tested—-dropped to 7.8% on November 7, from 9.5% on October 31.
The healthcare utilization rate in the region also remained low at 26%, as of November 7.
As for the COVID-19 situation for the whole country, Solante said the number of cases have also become “stable” in the recent past weeks.
The Philippines on Wednesday logged 1,241 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the tally of active cases down to 15,989.
“Hopefully, in the next weeks, sana walang new variants of concern or subvariants ng Omicron makapasok. Kung BA.5 lang ang paguusapan natin, hopefully, tuloy-tuloy nang maging mababa ang kaso natin,” Solante said.
(In the next weeks, hopefully no new variants of concern or Omicron subvariants will enter the country. If we only talk about BA.5, hopefully, our cases will continue declining.) — RSJ, GMA Integrated News