DOH sees 'sharp' rise in Metro Manila's Covid-19 cases

A police officer checks the vaccination cards of passengers at a jeepney stop in Divisoria, Manila on Jan. 14, 2022 in line with the implementation of the Department of Transportation’s “No Vaccination, No Ride” policy in the capital region while under the more stringent Alert Level 3. (Ali Vicoy / MANILA BULLETIN)

The Department of Health (DOH) said that Metro Manila is currently recording a "sharp" increase in Covid-19 cases but noted that the capital region remains under low-risk case classification.

"Ang National Capital Region ay nakakapagpakita ng sharp increase nitong mga huling araw. Patuloy po ang pagtaas mula mid-May at lumagpas na po sa 100 cases per day nitong Hunyo (The National Capital Region has been showing a sharp increase in recent days. The increase has continued since mid-May and has already exceeded 100 cases per day this June)," said Health Spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire in a press briefing on Wednesday, June 15.

In a statement, the DOH noted that 11 areas in Metro Manila are experiencing an uptick in new Covid-19 cases.

These cities are Makati, Paranaque, San Juan, Mandaluyong, Muntinlupa, Las Pinas, Pasig, Manila, Quezon City, Marikina, and Valenzuela.

Despite this development, Vergeire said the public should not panic as the healthcare utilization rate in Metro Manila remains manageable.

"Katulad ng sabi natin hindi pa siya that significant because we are not seeing yet yung translation niya dito sa pagtaas ng admissions nor sa mga severe and critical cases (As we have said, it is not that significant yet because it has not translated to increase in admissions nor in the number of severe and critical cases)," she said.

"Ang nakikita natin ngayon (What we are seeing is that) most of the infections are mild and asymptomatic and hopefully it stays that way," she added.

Metro Manila’s Covid-19 situation has not yet reached the criteria for it to be placed under the stricter Alert Level 2 status, said Vergeire.

For an area to be escalated to Alert Level 2, it should be classified under “moderate risk case classification with an average daily attack rate (ADAR) of six average cases per day per 100,000 population or have a moderate risk total bed utilization rate,” said Vergeire.

Metro Manila remains under Alert Level 1 “given its low-risk case classification, with an average daily attack rate of one case per day per 100,000 population,” noted the DOH spokesperson.

National situation

The country also remains under low-risk case classification despite the increasing number of Covid-19 cases, said Vergeire. Nationally, the average number of new cases per day is at 270.

“Wala naman tayong dapat ipangamba dahil nanatili pa rin tayong nasa low-risk case classification kahit meron na pong kaunting pagtaas in the recent one to two weeks. Nananatili din na nasa less than one case per 100,000 population ang ating average daily attack rate (We have nothing to worry about because we still remain in the low-risk case classification even though there has been a slight increase in cases in the recent one to two weeks. Our average daily attack rate also remains at less than one case per 100,000 population),” she said.

Most of the Covid-19 cases have mild symptoms or are asymptomatic, said Vergeire.

“Nasa 498 or 11.3 percent ang total admissions na binubuo ng severe and critical cases. This is lower by 17 percent from the 599 severe and critical admissions in the previous week...This remains less than 1.5 percent of the total hospital admissions,” she said.