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COVID-19 daily new average up by 42% —DOH

The Department of Health (DOH) reported on Tuesday a 42% increase in the average daily new COVID-19 cases from April 24-30, 2023.

The DOH said that's 637 fresh infections per day across the country. 

Meanwhile, 1,263 new cases were reported by the DOH on April 30, which brought the total number of active COVID-19 cases in the country to 4,093,421.

Positivity Rate

Independent monitoring group OCTA Research on Tuesday also reported that the 7-day COVID-19 positivity rate in the National Capital Region has hit a new high of 17.2%. last week.

OCTA fellow Dr. Guido David said the positivity rate in many provinces also increased to double digits. This included Batangas, Benguet, Bulacan, Cebu, Isabela, Palawan, and Pampanga.

Meanwhile, Camarines Sur posted the highest positivity rate at 39.7%.

This was followed by Rizal at 28.5%, an increase from its previous 21.7%, and Cavite, which rose from 11.1% to 28.1%. The positivity rate in Laguna also rose from 13.2% to 21.2%.

In an interview on Unang Balita, David attributed the increase in COVID-19 cases to the new COVID-19 Omicron subvariant XBB.1.16, also known as Arcturus.

“It’s mainly dahil doon sa Acrturus subvariant… Of course, may other factors din. Waning immunity is one other factor and then increased mobility and complacency ng mga kababayan natin are other factors,” David said.

(It’s mainly due to the Arcturus subvariant… Of course, there are other factors. The waning immunity is one other factor and the increased mobility and the complacency of our countrymen are factors as well.)

COVID-19 Wave

He said OCTA is also expecting coronavirus cases to increase further with the current trajectory, adding that this could be a high COVID-19 wave.

David, however, said the wave will not be as bad as the Omicron wave in January 2022 and the Delta wave, especially in terms of hospitalization.

According to David, the public can expect a new COVID-19 wave occasionally.

“In the same way na yung dengue is endemic pero nagkakaroon tayo ng waves every year pag season ng dengue. So ganon din itong virus. So we will have waves. We will see waves like this. This is not something na unexpected actually,” he said.

(In the same way that dengue is endemic but we have waves every year if it is dengue season. So the virus is the same. So we will have waves. We will see waves like this. This is not something that is unexpected actually.)

“Ang concern lang natin kung mag mutate into something mas severe ulit ang COVID, then we may have to recalibrate our protocols,” he added.

(Our only concern is if this mutates into something more severe, then we will have to recalibrate our protocols.)

Face Masks

For David, there is no need to make face masks mandatory anew amid the increase.

“Sa tingin ko naman, ‘yun nga, we can still opt to wear face masks whether or not gawing mandatory. I-disseminate na lang natin. We can raise awareness sa mga kababyaan natin na may kumakalat na subvariant,” he said.

(I think that we can still opt to wear face masks. We should just disseminate it, we can raise awareness that there is a subvariant like this.)

David said this is also up to the discretion of local government units or establishments.

At present, the Philippines has recorded 4,093,421 COVID-19 cases, of which 5,875 remain active. —VAL, GMA Integrated News