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Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Dec 19, 2023  2 months, 2 days, 14 hours, 40 minutes ago

COVID-19 News: SARS-CoV-2 Infections Surge By 50 Percent In Philippines!

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COVID-19 News: SARS-CoV-2 Infections Surge By 50 Percent In Philippines!
Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Dec 19, 2023  2 months, 2 days, 14 hours, 40 minutes ago
COVID-19 News: In a concerning development, the Philippines has witnessed a sharp surge in COVID-19 infections, recording a 50% increase in daily confirmed cases over the past week, according to data released by the Department of Health (DOH)-Philippines. The latest DOH weekly bulletin revealed that the seven-day average cases rose from 260 to 389, with a total of 2,725 individuals testing positive for the virus through laboratory tests.
https://doh.gov.ph/covid19tracker
 


Tragically, the nation also reported 16 additional deaths related to COVID-19 in December, bringing the official death toll to 66,795 out of 4.1 million confirmed infections since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020.
 
Despite this alarming increase, health authorities have sought to allay fears, emphasizing that the national average hospital bed occupancy for COVID-19 cases remains at a low risk level. According to the DOH, 12.9% of allotted intensive care unit (ICU) beds and 18.3% of non-ICU beds for COVID-19 patients are currently occupied. Presently, there are 1,983 COVID-19 patients admitted, including 211 in serious or critical condition, constituting 45% of the known infected individuals as of December 15.
 
Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa, while acknowledging the slight uptick in cases, pointed out that the current numbers are not significantly higher compared to the same period last year. Nevertheless, the DOH has urged individuals experiencing flu-like symptoms to immediately isolate themselves to prevent further transmission.
 
The DOH's latest report, covering the period from December 12 to 18, 2023, revealed a total of 2,725 new COVID-19 cases, marking the highest weekly tally in 24 weeks. The daily average of 389 cases is a stark 50% increase from the previous week's 260 daily average cases. Notably, 16 of the new cases were classified as severe or critical, the highest in eight weeks.
 
In terms of healthcare utilization, the country maintains a low-risk status. As of December 17, 2023, 8.8% of total COVID-19 admissions are categorized as severe or critical, representing a slight decrease from the previous week. ICU bed utilization is at 12.9%, witnessing a decline after three weeks of increase, while non-ICU bed utilization is at 18.3%, marking the highest in five weeks.
 
Despite the surge in COVID-19 cases, the Department of Health emphasized that the increase in non-COVID illnesses is also a cause for concern. Dr Jose Rene de Grano, President of the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines Inc. (PHAPI), speaking to various COVID-19 News outlets, warned of a potential rise in diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol following the holiday season. He attributed this trend to excessive eating and unhealthy food choices during Christmas.
 
Expressing hope that hospital utilization rates will not spike, Dr  De Grano acknowledged that current COVID-19 cases are manageable, with many individuals exhibiting mild symptoms opting to isolate at home. However, he noted an increase in flu-like illnesses, attributing it to the seasonal change from cold to warm weather.
 < br /> As a precautionary measure, Dr De Grano advised vulnerable populations to wear masks, especially in crowded areas with poor ventilation, to prevent the spread of viral diseases. While the situation is being closely monitored, the nation remains on alert, and health officials continue to stress the importance of adhering to safety protocols, including wearing face masks in public and choosing well-ventilated places. The government, alongside the health sector, is closely monitoring the situation and considering potential adjustments to health protocols to curb the spread of the virus.
 
For the latest COVID-19 News, keep on logging to Thailand Medical News.

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