The Department of Health (DOH) warned on Wednesday of a likely increase in severe and serious COVID-19 cases by August, citing declining public immunity.
According to Maria Rosario Vergeire, Undersecretary of Health, the country’s severe and critical cases are currently stabilized, and hospitals are not overburdened.
“There is this projection that maybe by, it might happen, that by August, our hospitalizations will increase, and there would be more severe and critical cases because of the waning immunity of the population,” Vergeire told ANC.
She claims that immunity is diminishing due to the sluggish uptake of booster doses.
Vergeire later stated during a press conference that the projections were produced by Autumn.
Autumn’s assumptions, according to Vergeire, include a fall in compliance with minimal health standards, the country’s booster uptake, and the entry of the Omicron subvariants.
“Magkakaroon po tayo ng pagtaas ng pagkakaospital pagdating ng mga August of this year. And this would be around 4,800… mas mataas po ang hospitalization na projected na ito kaysa nung nagkaroon tayo nung Delta variant,” she said.
(We will have an increase this coming August. And this would be around 4,800… this projection is higher than during the Delta variant.)
However, she emphasized that the projections “are not set in stone.”
Increase of severe, critical COVID-19 cases by August possible – DOH
Vergeire earlier stated that despite the reported increase in COVID-19 cases, it is crucial to maintain a low number of severe and critical cases.
Currently, 14.56 million people have received their first COVID-19 booster, with approximately 557,000 receiving the second dosage.
Despite this, Vergeire believes that making the second booster shot available to the general public who wants it is not the solution.
According to Vergeire, the diminishing immunity is caused by the transmissible Omicron variant’s influence on the major vaccine series.
“Therefore because of that, all of us who have received our primary series, the first and second dose, should receive the third booster shot,” she said.
Meanwhile, Vergeire reported that the average number of new COVID-19 cases per day increased to 270 from 182 the previous week.
“But if you look at the numbers even in the different areas where increasing cases are happening, hindi naman po ganoon kalaki,” she said.
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