DOH logs 1,460 new Covid-19 cases, warns vs using antigen tests for screening amid holiday gatherings

Published December 9, 2022, 6:32 PM

by Analou de Vera


The Department of Health (DOH) recorded 1,460 new Covid-19 infections on Friday, Dec. 9

Metro Manila was still in the top spot among regions with the most number of cases in the recent two weeks with 5,535.

It was followed by Calabarzon with 2,194; Central Luzon with 1,064; Western Visayas with 841; and Cagayan Valley with 789.

Active cases nationwide were at 18,632. Since 2020, the Philippines has already logged 4,046,849 confirmed Covid-19 cases.

Of the confirmed cases, 3,963,372 were recoveries and 64,845 were fatalities.

Antigen test for screening

Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) said it does not recommend the use of antigen tests to screen individuals attending gatherings this holiday season.

“The antigen test is accurate kapag ang isang tao ay may sintomas kaya po ang rekomendasyon at guidelines na pinalabas natin dyan kapag tayo ay may (when a person has symptoms, that’s why the recommendation and guidelines that were released was that when we have) symptoms of Covid-19, we can either choose to have the antigen test or the RT-PCR test,” said DOH Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire in a press briefing on Friday.

“Kapag ginagamit po natin ang (If we used) antigen test for screening, which is not recommended, you might get false positive and false negative results and this would just give you inaccurate management,” she added.

The DOH said it is better to have a health screening or check if an individual has symptoms.

Vergeire also urged people with symptoms not to attend gatherings to avoid possible transmission of the virus.

“Bago kayo pumunta sa party (Before you go to the party), if you know that you have been exposed to a positive individual; if you know that you have symptoms kahit sipon lang yan, wag na po tayong pumunta sa party at baka tayo makapanghawa (even if it’s just a phlegm, do not go to the party because you might infect others),” she said.

It is also best to wear a face mask during the event to ensure that “transmission will be kept at a minimum,” said Vergeire.