Philippines breaks Covid record

·4 min read

(UPDATED) THE Philippines again broke its highest single-day coronavirus disease (Covid-19) case record with 34,021 additional infections reported by the Department of Health (DOH) Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022.

Thursday’s tally surpassed the 33,169 cases recorded last Monday, January 10. It also further pushed the country’s total case count to 3,092,409, as of 4 p.m. Thursday, January 13, 2022.

The DOH said the new infections also raised the active cases or the number of people who currently have Covid-19 to 237,387. This is 7.7 percent of all confirmed cases in the country.

Of the active cases, 7,332 have remained asymptomatic, 225,408 have mild symptoms of the disease, 2,881 were moderate, 1,468 severe and 298 critical.

The DOH said 98 percent, or 33,456 of the new cases were recorded in the last 14 days. Metro Manila remained as the region with the highest number of new infections in the recent two weeks at 16,793 (50 percent), followed by Calabarzon with 7,131 (21 percent) and Central Luzon with 3,745 (11 percent).

The DOH also said 4,694 more patients have recovered from the disease, bringing the total number of recoveries to 2,802,286 (90.6 percent).

Positivity rate, deaths

Eighty-two more patients have succumbed to Covid-19. This pushed the number of mortalities to a total of 52,736, or 1.71 percent, in the Philippines.

The country’s positivity rate remained high for several weeks now, at 47.9 percent based on the 78,866 samples tested last January 11, said the health department.

As to the healthcare utilization rate, the country’s intensive care unit (ICU) beds were already 45 percent occupied nationwide, while in the National Capital Region, the ICU utilization rate was high at 58 percent.

For isolation beds, the DOH reported 46 percent for nationwide and 54 percent for NCR. Ward beds, meanwhile, were 45 percent utilized nationwide and 66 percent for NCR.

The health agency said seven laboratories in the country have failed to submit data to the Covid-19 Document Repository System last January 11. These laboratories contributed on average five percent of all samples tested and 6.6 percent of individuals who tested positive for the virus.

Quarantine

Meanwhile, the quarantine period for asymptomatic close contacts who had been fully vaccinated has been shortened from seven days to only five days starting Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022.

This according to Mary Jean Loreche, chief pathologist of the Department of Health 7 (DOH 7) during her press briefing at the Visayas Vaccination Operations Center (VVOC) on Thursday.

Loreche said partially or unvaccinated individuals are still subject to 14-day home quarantine.

Fully vaccinated healthcare workers are also subject to five-day quarantine, but Loreche said this has to be assessed by the infection control nurse of their respective facilities.

Loreche stressed the quarantine period may be extended once the person develops symptoms.

New guidelines

Based on the newest DOH guidelines, Loreche said those with symptoms or are considered mild cases but are fully vaccinated are subject to seven days home isolation from the onset of their symptoms.

But for those partially vaccinated or unvaccinated individuals with symptoms that are considered mild, they will be subject to 10 days isolation.

Meanwhile, fully vaccinated individuals who are asymptomatic will be subject to seven days isolation while the unvaccinated or partially vaccinated asymptomatic cases will be made to undergo a 10-day quarantine.

For moderate cases, regardless of vaccination status, they will be made to undergo 10 days isolation.

Due to the recent rise in cases, Loreche said home isolation is now allowed provided that the equipment and health protocols are complied with.

Only Covid-19 positive individuals who are asymptomatic and those with mild to moderate symptoms will be allowed to go into home isolation.

“They can stay in the house, in condominiums, in our subdivisions. They will no longer be extracted if they are asymptomatic or symptomatic but are probable (mild) cases,” Loreche said in Tagalog.

But for severe or critical cases, regardless of vaccination status, they should be in isolation for 21 days, Loreche said.

The immunocompromised (autoimmune disease, HIV, cancer/malignancy, transplant patient, undergoing steroiod treatment, patients with proof of poor prognosis/bedridden patients) will not just be subject to 21 days isolation, but will also be required to yield a negative RT-PCR test result before the patient’s release from the facility. (with MKG)

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