No more 4 o’clock habit: DOH shifting to weekly COVID-19 data releases

No more 4 o'clock habit: DOH shifting to weekly COVID-19 data releasesNo more 4 o'clock habit: DOH shifting to weekly COVID-19 data releases

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines will go from releasing new COVID-19 statistics every day to every week, the Department of Health announced Tuesday.

Beginning March 7, weekly COVID-19 updates will be released every Monday at 4 p.m., “with additional timely updates provided whenever necessary,” the DOH said.

Weekly case bulletins will focus on reporting healthcare capacity, vaccination rates and trends.

Daily bulletins currently issued by the department contain latest information on new infections, fatalities, recoveries, active cases, positivity rate, and healthcare utilization.

The change comes as Metro Manila and other areas enter the “new normal”—or Alert Level 1. The capital region will be placed under the lowest alert level until March 15.

“Because over 63 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated and COVID-19 cases continue to decline, the DOH saw the need to shift our focus to a more proactive and long term health solution,” DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

Vergeire vowed that the agency will continue monitoring the situation in the country and providing the public with updates.

The health official also stressed that “transitioning to Alert Level 1 does not mean that the pandemic is over” as she urged Filipinos to continue practicing minimum public health standards.

Under Alert Level 1, business and public transport are allowed to operate at full capacity, and contact tracing and temperature checks are optional. The mask mandate, however, remains.

The Philippines has reported over 3.6 million COVID-19 cases since the pandemic started, with 56,451 deaths. There are currently 52,179 active cases.

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