Pinoys urged to be on guard amid ‘slow’, ‘steady’ rise of PH Covid-19 infections

Published June 28, 2022, 9:01 PM

by Charie Mae F. Abarca

The public was urged to be on guard amid the “slow and steady” increase of Covid-19 cases in the Philippines.

Mladen Antonov / AFP

Health reform advocate and former special adviser of the National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19 Dr. Anthony “Tony” Leachon on Tuesday, June 28, said that the country is experiencing a “mild surge” of Covid-19 infections and premature lifting of health protocols may worsen the situation.

“We cannot deny that there is an uptick – we can call it a mild surge. Definitely it’s on the rise right now. Our biggest clue would be the increasing positivity rate, right now national is 5 percent and in the National Capital Region (NCR) it is about 5.7 percent,” said Leachon in an interview over ANC on Tuesday morning.

With these metrics, Leachon said that there is an evident increase in the viral transmission of Covid-19 in the country. Although the hospitalization rate remained low, the expert reiterated that the situation could worsen if admissions overwhelm the healthcare system.

This, according to Leachon, is one of the reasons why health protocols such as wearing of masks should not yet be lifted.

“If we will not be able to contain this, and this is secondary to mobility [and] the arrival of sub variants [amid] waning immunity, as well as the premature demand for ditching of masks, this will be a disaster in the making,” he added.

Keeping the public safe

Despite this evident increase in Covid-19 infections, Leachon advised the public not to panic. He then enumerated strategies that may keep the public safe amid this “slow and steady” rise of cases.

“We cannot be hiding [always]. [We need to have] a national strategy – number one, number two is to make the people resilient, and number three is to educate everyone to be empowered as a citizen,” said Leachon in a mix of English and Filipino.

Meanwhile, NCR will remain under the Alert Level 1 status until July 15, Malacañang announced. The decision was made after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) implemented a new matrix, removing the two-week growth rate of Covid-19 in determining case-risk classification of an area.