DOH: Not yet time to lift ‘state of calamity’ in PH

June 3, 2022 Lee Ann P. Ducusin 74 views

THE Department of Health (DOH) thumbed down proposals to lift the state of calamity in the country as it noted a slight increase in COVID-19 cases.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire responded when asked if it is time to “remove” the emergency tag on COVID-19.

“Nakikita ho natin may kaunting pagtaas ng kaso sa ibang lugar. Pangalawa, may mga pumasok po na subvariants dito sa ating bansa which is deemed to be more transmissible at saka may immune escape na mechanism sila,” she said.

The country recently detected more cases of the more transmissible Omicron subvariant BA.2.12.1, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 22.

In May, the country also detected the Omicron subvariant BA.4. The case has already completed his isolation period and has since recovered.

Vergeire said the current state of calamity is set to expire in September.

“So it will be up to the [next] President if it’s going to be lifted or not. Based on recommendations from DOH and the expert,” she said.

Meanwhile, she said the “public health emergency” was declared by the World Health Organization (WHO).

According to Vergeire, experts are also projecting an increase in cases by the end of July or early August due to waning immunity.

Vergeire also rebuffed calls for removing the alert level status in the country, saying this is an indication of the risk status of an area, adding that more than 40 areas in the country have yet to meet the COVID-19 vaccination target.

“Let us remember that we can only relax and say that we are on that phase na endemic na po at acceptable na kapag mataas din ang immunity ng bansa. Hindi lang po numero or number ng cases ang tinitignan natin,” she said.

In a related development, the DOH on Thursday recorded 182 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the nationwide tally to 3,690,889.

On Wednesday, the country’s active case tally slightly increased to 2,334 from 2,320.

Among the top regions with cases in the recent two weeks were the National Capital Region (NCR) with 1,044, followed by Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) with 394, and Central Luzon with 248.

The DOH reported a total of 3,628,100 patients recovered from the viral disease.

Meanwhile, the Philippines’ death tally remained at 60,455, with no new deaths recorded.