Philippines: Covid-19 cases in Metro Manila already peaked, says Duque


FILE PHOTO: People wearing face masks as protection against Covid-19 take part in a simulation for the 2022 Philippine election, at a polling station in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines, December 29, 2021. - Reuters

MANILA, Jan 24 (Philippines Daily Inquirer/ANN): The rise of Covid-19 cases in Metro Manila appeared to have peaked already as the number of infections has been declining in the past few days, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said on Monday.

"It appears that it has peaked already. The cases are declining in the past days and the number of cases the region contributes to the total caseload is decreasing," he said in a public health briefing in the capital.

However, Duque cannot say yet whether Metro Manila can already be deescalated to a less stricter Alert Level 2, citing the metrics that the government’s pandemic task force still had to follow, such as the two-week growth rate, average daily attack rate, and healthcare utilization rate.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases will meet on Thursday to discuss the alert levels placed in the country.

Metro Manila has been placed under Alert Level 3 until Jan. 31.

But Metro Manila is “ready” to deescalate to a less severe Alert Level 2 if the national government decides to do so by February,

The National Capital Region (NCR) has seen a decline in Covid-19 cases over the past few days and vaccination coverage is high in the metropolis, according to Duque.

"Our vaccination coverage is good. So there is the confidence that we can implement the minimum public health standards," said Duque.

The escalation or deescalation of alert levels, he said, is determined by the area’s two-week growth rate, average daily attack rate, and health care utilization rate.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases will meet on Thursday to discuss the alert levels placed in the country starting in February.

"We might discuss this if we can go to Alert Level 2 but) that is not yet cast in stone because we will still need to review the metrics,” Duque said.

Metro Manila is placed under Alert Level 3 until Jan. 31.

Covid-19 cases in Metro Manila appear to have already peaked, given the declining rate of infections, Duque said.

The Philippines has so far logged 3,417,216 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with 273,580 active cases, 3,090,164 recoveries and 53,472 deaths. - Philippines Daily Inquirer/ANN

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