Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the Philippines is now at critical risk for COVID-19 amid a sudden spike of COVID-19 cases believed to be due to the Omicron variant.
“Ang ating bansa ay kasalukuyang nasa critical risk case classification, na may pagtaas na 690% sa seven-day average of daily reporting cases,” said Duque in President Rodrigo Duterte’s public address.
The DOH chief added said the Omicron has become the dominant variant in the country.
“Base sa pinakahuling run of whole genome sequencing, 60% na po ng samples na nasequence ay positive na po for Omicron varaint so siya na po nagdo-dominate na variant whereas before it was the Delta,” he said.
Duque reported that 18 samples sequenced on January 3 were Delta variant while 29 were Omicron.
On January 3 this year, Health Undersecretary Ma. Rosario Vergeire announced the Philippines had been classified as “high risk” for COVID-19 following the sudden increase in cases.
“Nationally, we are now at high risk case classification from low risk case class in the previous week, showing a positive two-week growth rate at 222% and a moderate risk average daily attack rate at 1.07 cases for every 100,000 individuals,” she had said.
Philippines at critical risk for COVID-19 —Duque
Yesterday, the Philippines recorded 33,169 new COVID-19 cases, raising the country’s active infections to 157,526.
Meanwhile, the number of requests for help at One Hospital Command, which now receives approximately 1,000 calls per day, has also increased, according to its operations manager Dr. Bernadett Velasco.
Velasco said this is up from the previous average of only 200 calls per day.
“Of course, na li-limit tayo, sometimes hindi na pu-push through ‘yung mga calls pero on our record po, nakaka-1,000,” said Velasco.
It is said that most of the patients who call are asymptomatic or have only mild symptoms who seek an isolation facility, while a few need to be rushed to the hospital immediately.
One Hospital Command is the government’s referral center to call and seek help from patients or family members of patients with COVID-19.