New COVID-19 cases possibly record-breaking: Duque

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III warned that there will not be far off to have record-breaking new COVID-19 cases in the country if the spread of the is not curbed in the coming days.

The secretary said this after presenting to President Rodrigo Duterte at the Inter-Agency Task Force meeting the current cases of COVID-19 which have reached more than five thousand per day.

“Pinapakita na malapit na pong umabot doon sa ating first surge noong nangyari July, August and September. So kinakailangan ho talaga mahinto itong mga kasong ito. At kung hindi po ay baka lumagpas pa tayo, mas mataas pa doon sa ating July, August peak of COVID cases,” he said.

The National Capital Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, and Region 7 have the highest health care utilization rates of between 47 to 56 percent but they can still be considered in the low-risk classification according to Duque.

When it comes to the UK variant, its cases have also been seen in NCR and CAR, but the DOH is still investigating whether it is related to the increase in COVID-19 cases in the two regions.

New COVID-19 cases possibly record-breaking: Duque

“We don’t know if this is a factor that has influenced the increase in the number of cases in the NCR and CAR or is this a coincidental finding or it is among the several possible factors that have caused the spikes in COVID cases,” said Duque.

But Duque is sure that the COVID-19 case has increased due to the reopening of the economy.

“So ang tingin po namin, ang mga sumusunod na mga kadahilanan na tumaas po ang mga kaso: Number one, increased mobility dahil po nagluwag tayo ng ating mga quarantine restrictions. Pangalawa, binuksan po natin ang mga malaking bahagi ng ating ekonomiya. At dahil po rito, ang mobility tumaas; ang transmission rate, tumaas; ang contact rate, tumaas. Kaya ito po ang mga kadahilanan na kung bakit sumipa po ang ating mga kaso sa NCR and CAR and also in the other regions,” he said.

Despite the increase in COVID-19 cases, the curve or number of deaths from the disease is decreasing, Duque said.