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COVID-19 cases ‘plateauing’ nationally, says DOH exec

While the rise in COVID-19 cases was observed in some areas, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Wednesday that the infections are “plateauing” on the national level.

DOH Disease Prevention and Control Bureau director Dr. Razel Nikka Hao said this during a roundtable discussion, citing a COVID-19 situationer dated May 8, Monday.

“Now, we still see cases increase in some areas, but at a national level, [it is] generally plateauing,” she said.

DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire on Tuesday said that the new COVID-19 infections average 1,400 per day—around 87% higher than last week.

Despite this, 96% of these cases are either mild, asymptomatic, or moderate. Hospital utilization remains at low risk, she added.

OCTA Research fellow Dr. Guido David, meanwhile, also said on Tuesday that the increasing trend in positivity rate “is slowing down, and the peak could happen within the next week or so.”

DOH’s data last week showed that all areas were on “an uptrend, with NCR (National Capital Region) exhibiting steepest increase.” However, the rise of cases in Visayas and Mindanao were “starting to slow down.”

Hao explained that continuous COVID-19 transmission is expected, considering that the Philippines has loosened its restrictions, including policies on masking and traveling.

“Even with the cases, even with the variants, our healthcare utilization rate, ibig sabihin hindi napupupuno ‘yung ating mga ospital [our hospitals are not getting full], and majority of our cases remain to be mild. There are still of course severe and critical cases, especially among the highest risk, but it remains manageable and low,” she said.

“This is also why the national government as a whole has continued really loosening the restrictions and also explaining that we now really expect continuous case transmission,” she added.

The Philippines on Tuesday recorded 1,165 new COVID-19 infections, while the active tally dropped to 12,125.—LDF, GMA Integrated News