The Philippines continue to grapple with four-digit new Covid-19 cases, based on the latest data of the Department of Health (DOH).
The DOH Covid-19 tracker showed 4,679 more Covid-19 cases on Saturday, Aug. 13, bringing the number of active cases nationwide to 40,324.
Metro Manila still recorded the most number of new cases in recent two weeks with 15,843 infections. It was followed by Calabarzon with 10,052, Central Luzon with 5,212, Western Visayas with 2,873, and Cagayan Valley with 2,236.
The country has already recorded 3,827,758 cases, including 3,726,442 recoveries, and 60,992 deaths since the pandemic began in 2020.
Easing of restrictions
Meanwhile, the DOH said that Covid-19 restrictions in the country will be further eased but in a “slower” manner.
DOH Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire made the statement after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that it is no longer recommending physical distancing and the implementation of strict quarantine against Covid-19.
Vergeire said that the Philippines is also heading in that same direction but taking a careful step.
“I think the direction of the US government is to put the onus or the responsibility to their citizens. And tayo dito sa Pilipinas (And us here in the Philippines), that is our direction. We will encourage people to take care of themselves, aside from government interventions, kailangan, ang tao, alam nila kung paano proteksyunan ang kanilang sarili (it is necessary that the people know how to protect themselves),” said Vergeire in a press briefing on Friday, Aug. 12.
“Dito sa ating bansa, ganyan din po naman ang ating direksyon (Here in our country, our direction is the same). Although we are taking it more slowly because we would like to be very certain based on evidence that we can fully lift other restrictions in time—kapag tumaas na po ang ating immunity dito sa ating populasyon (when our level of immunity here in our population is already high),” she added.
Vergeire emphasized the importance of shifting the mindset of the public that “we are here to live with the virus.”
“We know that the virus will stay. Ang importante lang sa ating lahat (What is important for all of us), and I think the US government also has that kind of objective, that we will protect the most vulnerable, protect the healthcare system from being overwhelmed, and we will try to prevent as much as possible severe and critical cases and deaths,” she said.