Pateros has recorded an increase of 61 percent in the number of active coronavirus disease (COVID-19) amid the suspected spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant.
According to the Pateros municipal government, as of Jan. 13, the active COVID-19 cases in the town totaled 632, an increase of 239 cases, or 61 percent, compared to 393 active cases on Jan. 11. The total active cases translate to 903 cases per 100,000 population.
Pateros is the smallest local government unit (LGU) in Metro Manila with an estimated population of 70,000.
Of the 632 active cases, 319 are asymptomatic and 313 are mild COVID-19 cases. A total of 625 are under isolation and seven are scheduled for isolation.
The municipal government recorded 139 new COVID-19 cases on Jan. 13 and 112 new cases on Jan. 11.
In eight days from Jan. 6 to 13, Pateros added 526 new COVID-19 cases, increasing from 8,116 to 8,642. During the period, 56 patients have recovered while the municipal government recorded zero deaths.
As of Jan. 13, Pateros has 8,642 confirmed cases, 7,903 recoveries and 107 deaths.
Pateros Mayor Miguel “Ike” Ponce III earlier warned that the town’s COVID-19 cases could breach the 1,000 mark.
“But I fear that the total number of positive cases right now in our municipality might reach the thousand mark. This is our situation. This is very scary. Let us hope that this will not happen,” said Ponce in his address to the Pateros Municipal Council.
During an online briefing, Dr. Edsel Salvana, a member of the Department of Health’s Technical Advisory Group-Infectious Disease and the director of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology of the University of the Philippines National Institutes of Health, said, “We are not calling Omicron mild.”
“It is milder than Delta. Delta is three times more likely to land you in the hospital compared to Omicron but Omicron could still land you in the hospital, which is a very important distinction.”
He said the incubation period of the Omicron variant is faster than Delta. Before, he said, it took five days for someone to develop symptoms but for Omicron, it is three days.
“For Omicron, you are almost contagious just a little over 24 hours so it is very, very difficult to contain something like that because you have only been exposed 24 hours and then you are already passing the virus,” he said.
Salvana said isolation is very important because “by the time you develop symptoms, you are already very, very contagious.”
He said if a person goes out to get a test and there is a long line at the testing center, “you can actually infect other people.”