DOH sees rise in COVID-19 cases despite lockdowns

DOH sees rise in COVID-19 cases despite lockdowns

MANILA, Philippines — COVID-19 cases are seen to rise despite the imposition of lockdowns designed to curb the spread of the disease, the Department of Health said Saturday.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told state TV that even with a five-week enhanced community quarantine, Metro Manila is projected to have 15,000 active COVID-19 cases by the end of September.

“Nararamdaman na po natin ang epekto ng Delta variant dito po sa ating bansa. Amin pong nakikita, based also on projections na tataas pa rin po ang mga kasong ito,” Vergeire said.

(We now feel the effects of the Delta variant in our country. We see, based also on projections, that the cases would still rise.)

Metro Manila is currently under a two-week ECQ until August 20, which Vergeire said is to delay the spike in cases and give time to boost the healthcare capacity.

Vergeire said government projections show that if ECQ is extended to three weeks before Metro Manila shifts to a two-week modified ECQ, active cases in the region will reach around 42,000 by the end of September.

She added that if the region just shifts to MECQ after a two-week ECQ, active cases in Metro Manila will hit 58,000 by the end of September.

The health department hopes that the lockdowns would give enough time to prepare the health system for a surge in COVID-19 cases and that vaccinations would ramp up.

“Ang hope po natin, wala masiyadong magiging severe infections, wala masiyadong mao-ospital at wala po masiyadong mamamatay,” Vergeire said.

(We hope that there would be fewer severe infections, fewer hospitalizations and fewer deaths.)

The country has logged the most number of new coronavirus cases in three months for two straight days, with Saturday’s tally hitting 11,021. — Xave Gregorio

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