The Department of Health on Saturday classified five areas in Metro Manila under “moderate risk” for COVID-19 after logging a “sudden” increase in cases and a growth rate of over 200 percent.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the risk level was escalated in Pasig, San Juan, Quezon City, Marikina, and Pateros based on the two-week growth rate, average daily attack rate, and hospital utilization rate.
This does not mean, however, that Metro Manila will be placed under Alert Level 2 as the data do not indicate the need yet for escalation.
“They were classified as moderate risk because of the sudden rise in cases, but this is because they started at few cases and their growth rate increased by more than 200 percent,” Vergeire said in a press briefing.
“That’s only the computation and there is no cause for panic, but we should always be vigilant,” she added.
Vergeire said an increase in transmission is expected since COVID-19 is infectious.
The DOH, however, monitors hospital admission for severe and critical cases more closely.
Of the five areas, only one recorded an increase in hospital utilization rate, Vergeire said, while the rest are “less than 50 percent.”
“For now, we do not see yet an escalation to Alert Level 2, although we cannot say if by next week we see a sudden increase, then that’s the time that we are going to decide and it’s going to be the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) to decide,” she added.
DOH…Meanwhile, the DOH has expanded the administration of booster shots to kids ages 12 to 17 a week after approving this only to those who are immunocompromised.
“The approval was given for the rest of the population ages 12 to 17.
Hopefully we will see in the coming weeks an increase in the booster uptake,” Vergeire said.
The department earlier allowed the use of Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots for the age group following at least 28 days after the second dose.
A total of 9.5 million children ages 12 to 17 have received their primary doses, the DOH had said.