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12月16日のまにら新聞から

Health secretary says nothing ''to worry about COVID-19'' cases

[ 366 words|2023.12.16|英字 (English) ]

Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa said there is nothing to "worry about COVID-19 anymore" despite the increasing cases of the coronavirus disease.

"Now we are no longer as worried and I'd like to tell this in public. We shouldn't be worried about COVID-19 anymore because according to our infectious disease experts, the most recent variant of interest are just like the common colds and cough. Common colds and flu," Herbosa said.

"It's just like an upper respiratory infection unlike the earlier variety where there are severe pneumonia and they die in the ICU," he added.

Although Herbosa confirmed that COVID-19 cases are increasing, he noted that hospitalization utilization rates remain low.

"On December 11, 2023, our total COVID-19 utilization remain low at 16 percent for COVID beds and 14 percent of ICU utilization. While these rates are low, we saw slow increase of COVID-19 cases this month, and this is accompanied by a slight increase in severe and ICU admissions. I suppose many had stayed home. Even our president was tested positive and stayed home for five days," he said.

Herbosa said the DOH reports ''one death a day since August so it is lower because the year before, we reported two to three cumulative deaths," he added.

Herbosa said based on monitoring from December 5 to 11, 2023, there were a total of 1,821 COVID-19 cases.

"It increased but very slight, from 191 to 260 cases per day," he said.

He added there are hospitals, like the Philippine General Hospital, that are strictly implementing the use of face masks within their facilities to prevent the spread of the viruses.

Herbosa said the government is also monitoring the Influenza-like Illnesses (ILI).

"We require mandatory reporting (of ILI). As of December 2, 2023 a total of 193,148 influenza-like illnesses have been reported nationally. This is 33 percent higher compared to the same period of last year ," he said.

"Despite reporting a higher number of cases for this, the fatalities is lower, we reported only 271 deaths for this year, compared to 485 reported in the same period last year, it means more patients were recovering. ILI are mostly self limiting, and people usually recover," he added. Robina Asido/DMS