The Private Hospitals Associations of the Philippines Inc. (PHAPI) on Sunday played down concerns about the reported rise in dengue and COVID-19 infections, saying these are still manageable for now.
In an interview over radio dzBB, PHAPI president Dr. Rene Jose de Grano said the rainy season has caused the increase in dengue cases, particularly in the Visayas and Mindanao, in the last two weeks.
“Due to the rains, sometimes stagnant water get collected. These become the breeding places of mosquitoes carrying the dengue virus,” De Grano said.
“Some of the people dying from dengue are due to complications. Most of them are just asymptomatic and could be treated. Almost no one, so far, has died of dengue,” De Grano said.
Reports said 19 people have already died due to dengue in Zamboanga City, which declared a dengue outbreak.
The cases in the city reached over 2,000 from January to May 14, 2022.
Meanwhile, 11 people have died in Cebu City also due to dengue, with more than 700 dengue cases recorded from January up to May 7 this year. The figure is the highest in Central Visayas, according to the Department of Health (DOH) in Central Visayas.
Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje assured the public that the dengue cases remain manageable, but said they have already advised health facilities to prepare for an increase in admissions, especially for children.
Cabotaje noted that the 22,277 dengue cases recorded from January to April this year was 15 percent lower than cases recorded during the same period last year.
De Grano underscored the importance of COVID-19 vaccination amid the slight increase in infections, albeit manageable.
The Philippines on Saturday logged 199 new COVID-19 infections, which brought the country’s active case count to 2,434, a slight increase from the 2,422 recorded on Friday.
De Grano expressed alarm over the increase in monthly premium contribution to be imposed by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) in June.
PhilHealth earlier said the contribution rate will be hiked to 4 percent for members earning P10,000 to P80,000 per month, which will allow the agency to collect P205 billion in 2022.
“The public was shocked that there was a sudden .5 percent increase every year. They thought it froze to 3 percent due to the pandemic.
They said this is too high,” he said.
The 4 percent premium rate means that those earning P10,000 and below would have to pay a P400 monthly contribution to PhilHealth.
Those earning over P10,000 but lower than P80,000 need to pay a higher monthly premium ranging between P400 and P3,200 while those earning over P80,000 would have to pay a flat rate of P3,200.
PhilHealth assured its members that their contributions would be used to help Filipinos ease the burden of hospitalization and expand other benefits amid the impending increase in the monthly premium rate next month and its retroactive effect from the start of the year.
Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs said it has already distributed food assistance to more than 500 Filipinos around Shanghai, which is under a COVID-19 lockdown.
The DFA said a total of 535 Filipinos were provided food packs.
The department said each beneficiary received multiple packages containing essential food items such as rice, eggs, fresh vegetables and fruits, cooking oil and dry goods.
“They also received a taste of home via a selection of locally available Philippine-branded canned fish and meat products, noodles, soup mixes, sauces, biscuits, snack items, and condiments,” the DFA said.