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Over 19,000 COVID-19 infections in past week

PhilStar Global logo PhilStar Global 25/07/2022 Rhodina Villanueva
Over 19,000 COVID-19 infections in past week © AFP / Chaideer Mahyuddin Over 19,000 COVID-19 infections in past week

MANILA, Philippines — A total of 19,536 new infections were recorded in the country this past week, the Department of Health (DOH) reported yesterday.

The latest COVID-19 bulletin issued by the DOH likewise showed that from July 18 to 24, there were 56 new patients in severe and critical condition and 42 deaths from COVID-19 were verified.

Meanwhile, the daily average number of new COVID-19 infections is 2,791. This is 33 percent higher than those recorded from July 11 to 17.

Last Sunday, the health department recorded 666 severe and critical COVID-19 patients who sought admission in hospitals. This number is 8.7 percent of the total COVID-19 admissions in the country.

Out of the 2,664 ICU beds intended for COVID-19 patients, 578 (21.7 percent) were occupied while 26.0 percent or 5,804 of 22,331 non-ICU COVID-19 beds are being used.

The DOH also reported that as of July 17, more than 71 million individuals or 91.61 percent of the target population have been vaccinated against COVID-19 after an additional 223,507 individuals were added from July 18 to 24.

Meanwhile, 15.9 million individuals have received their booster shots. These included the 341,718 individuals boosted last week.

The health department said 6.7 million senior citizens or 77.87 percent of the target A2 population were able to receive their primary vaccine series.

In an interview with reporters, DOH officer-in-charge Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the National Capital Region (NCR) can be classified as being at “moderate” risk if the basis to be used is only the average daily attack rate (ADAR).

“Because of the continuing increase in the number of cases, the NCR is now at moderate risk case classification. We are at moderate risk… because the average daily attack rate is at 6.25,” said Vergeire.

However, she noted that it cannot be considered fully as being at “moderate” risk classification when the health care utilization rate or HCUR will be considered.

“The health care utilization rate is at less than 50 percent. That means that when we cross tabulate using the new metrics system, NCR is still at low risk,” said Vergeire.

Earlier, the DOH said the country’s alert level system will be indicated solely by the ADAR and HCUR. This was after the government removed the two-week case growth rate as among the indicators used by the DOH.

OCTA Research Group affirmed yesterday the NCR was at moderate risk for COVID-19 as it registered an average daily attack rate of 7.17 per 100,000 individuals,.

OCTA fellow Guido David said NCR recorded a 14.1 percent COVID-19 positivity rate.

For July 18 to 24, NCR had an average of 1,033 new cases per day for an ADAR of 7.17 per 100,000 individuals that is 25 percent higher compared to the 7-day average of 829 from July 11 to 17 (equivalent to an ADAR of 5.75).

“Overall, the NCR was at moderate risk. With a flat growth rate, it is not clear at this time when the peak in cases in the NCR will occur,” David said during the Laging Handa briefing.

In a tweet, David said “NCR is at moderate risk based on the metrics we use, but the bright spot is that HCUR remains below 50 percent.”

HCUR remained at 33.1 percent.

NCR’s one-week growth rate, he said, was at 25 percent while reproduction number was 1.38.

“The one-week growth rate in the NCR has remained relatively flat over three weeks. This means that while cases continue to rise, the rate of increase is moderate,” David tweeted.

David noted that the country may record 4,000 new cases per day by next week, but cautioned these were just projections and that the surge was not exponential and thus not alarming. – Pia Lee-Brago

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