Surge in COVID-19 cases alarming, says DOH official

Published March 7, 2021, 3:50 PM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

For Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary and treatment czar Leopoldo Vega the increase in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases is “alarming” but said it is still difficult to say if the country is already experiencing a second wave.

“This is alarming. We are taking necessary precautionary measures in the hospitals,” he said in a radio interview Sunday, March 7.

“If you look at the data…there is an increase in the number of active cases,” added Vega.

“If you look at the cases, then compare to the August 2020 cases, wherein we reached 5,000 cases, we are already near the middle. In other words, we are now in the middle of that peak before,” he said.

However, Vega said it is still difficult to say if the country is already experiencing a second wave of COVID-19 cases.

“We cannot say right now. We can see an uptick in cases. Once we see that it is already progressive, consistent, and is nearing the 2020 peak, then we can say it is possibly the second wave. But at this time, we don’t. It is still difficult to say it is already the second wave,” he said.

Vega also provided an update on the vaccine rollout in the country.

“All regions, both public and private hospitals, have already received their allocation,” he said.

“Our problem right now is not the demand, but on the supply,” added Vega.

“Our demand for vaccine is really high. We saw in the first few days, in our hospitals, it is gradually increasing. Our hospitals are continuously asking for allocations,” he said.

The Philippine government started its vaccination drive on March 1 with the inoculation of healthcare workers.