Worst of Omicron wave in Philippines is finished

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PHILIPPINE STAR/ EDD GUMBAN

THE PHILIPPINES is now safe from the worst threats of the highly infectious BA.5 and BA.4 Omicron subvariants after posting a significant decrease in coronavirus cases, an infectious diseases expert said on Thursday.

“We already passed the worst of the BA5 and BA4,” Rontgene M. Solante, a member of the Health department’s technical advisory group, told a televised news briefing, based on a transcript from the Office of the Press Secretary. 

“This means that we have already passed the wave. So cases are now declining,” he said in mixed English and Filipino. “And because cases have decreased, we also developed some sort of population immunity.” Mr. Solante said infections in the country have stabilized in the past weeks, noting that daily cases have remained fewer than 2,000.

Daily infections now range from 1,000 to 1,500. “In highly populated areas such as the National Capital Region and the provinces of Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod and Davao, cases continue to fall,” he added.

On Wednesday, the Philippines posted 1,241 coronavirus infections, bringing the total to 4.01 million. Active cases fell to 15,989, the lowest since July 13.

Mr. Solante said it remains to be seen whether a recent long weekend holiday would lead to an increase in infections. 

He said the coronavirus has an incubation period of 7 to 10 days. “Let’s see in the next week, second week or third week of November.”

He said authorities should observe those who will be admitted to hospitals or will show severe symptoms of COVID-19. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

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