The number of new Covid-19 cases has steadily increased the past few days.
From 2,633 on Aug. 16, 2022, then 2,892 on Aug. 17, new cases have gone up to 3,758 on Aug. 18 based on the data of the Department of Health (DOH).
On a weekly basis, the Philippines recorded 27,331 new cases during the period covering Aug. 1-7 and 28,008 cases on Aug. 8-14 or a three-percent increase.
The numbers are still a far cry from the figures during the Covid-19 surges early on.
Despite the uptrend, the good news is the number of severe or critical cases remains low while hospital utilization rate is low, as well.
But while the figures may not be alarming, the fact that new cases are steadily increasing should be a cause of concern.
There’s no doubt that one factor that is causing this increase is the opening of the economy. But this is necessary for the survival of the nation. While lockdowns have been effective to deter the spread of the viral disease, prolonging it is something the country can ill afford at this time.
With more people out in public places with the opening of the economy and the start of face-to-face classes on Aug. 22, as well, the best remedy to control the spread of Covid-19 is the strict observance of the minimum health and safety standards set by the DOH and to get fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
But the opening of the economy and the availability of vaccines against the coronavirus may have sent the wrong signal to some. Complacency has slowly started to set in.
Just look around in public places and you can find people mingling around and talking with each other without face masks. And social distancing is hardly observed.
Go out in commercial spaces and you could hardly find safety officers reminding people to observe minimum health and safety standards, as they used to do.
Under this situation, coupled with the low vaccination rate, there’s no doubt the number of Covid-19 cases is slowly increasing.
Now, the fight is not just against the viral disease, it is also a battle against complacency.
If we want to help control the spread of the virus and keep the economy afloat, we can’t afford to be complacent.
We have to observe minimum health protocols. And this can be done if we so desire.