‘For now, our Covid-19 cases are plateauing’: Philippines health dept

The Department of Health officer-in-charge added, however, that there were "a few areas being monitored where Covid-19 admissions are increasing a little."

Zacarian Sarao

Zacarian Sarao

Philippine Daily Inquirer


FILE PHOTO: Health officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire answers questions during a media forum on Tuesday, December 20, 2022. Noy Morcoso / INQUIRER.net

January 19, 2023

MANILA, Philippines — “For now, our COVID-19 cases are plateauing,” according to Department of Health (DOH) officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire, even if hospital admissions due to the coronavirus slightly increased in some areas.

In an interview with TeleRadyo’s program Sakto, Vergeire explained: “Sa ngayon po, ang ating COVID-19 cases ay plateauing, pababa po siya, [pero] meron po tayong mga konting binabantayang mga lugar kung saan ang pag-admit po ng COVID-19 ay medyo tumataas.”

(For now, our COVID-19 cases are plateauing, it is going down, [but] we have a few areas being monitored where COVID-19 admissions are increasing a little.)

She noted that the rise in COVID-19 hospital admissions in some areas is only due to the fewer number of allocated beds for coronavirus patients. She then assured the public that the positivity rate in most areas continues to go down.

“So generally our situation is manageable. Positivity rate has also decreased in most of the areas of the country as well as nationally,” Vergeire said.

Vaccination rate still slow

In the same interview, Vergeire disclosed that vaccination rate for COVID-19 has increased from 23 percent in 2022 to 27 percent this year. But this percentage, she admitted, is still slow.

“Medyo mabagal pa rin po, pero at least nagi-improve tayo at sana mas makapaghikayat pa rin tayo ng ating kababayan na magpabakuna,” she said.

(It’s still a bit slow, but at least we are improving and I hope we can encourage our countrymen to get vaccinated.)

“Talagang nakikita natin ang mga kababayan na back to normal na sila, kaya sa ngayon patuloy ang paghihikayat para magpabakuna sila,” she added.

(We are really seeing that people now are back to normal, that’s why we are continuously encouraging them to get vaccinated.)

The latest weekly report of DOH showed that the country now has 73,703,831 fully vaccinated individuals – or those who have received the complete primary doses of COVID-19 vaccines. This figure translates to 94.50 percent of the target population.

The number of boosted individuals, on the other hand, stood at 21,241,707, or 79.46 percent of the target population.

As of January 17, active COVID-19 infections nationwide reached 11,342, according to the DOH COVID-19 tracker.

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