The arrival of Omicron and the data for 12.15.2021

There was no way we could get away from Omicron. After all, 65 countries have reported its presence – either at its borders or as community transmission.

What we know about it is that it seems to take on a milder course than delta. But a shorter incubation period with a milder presentation can be dangerous for those who are unvaccinated because the spread will be more rapid. With barely less than 40% of the eligible population fully vaccinated, that leaves quite a greater percentage at risk. With the multiple mutations of Omicron, the monoclonal antibodies specific for this variant does not seem to be that effective at alleviating the course of the disease. Vaccine efficacy may pose a challenge as well. One study from Hong Kong shows that Sinovac, even at complete doses, do not seem to offer protection against a variant with multiple mutation points. Finally, there is data that points to the fact that patients who have previously had COVID-19 are at risk for getting reinfected with Omicron, albeit mildly, but no one really knows how the course will be in the more vulnerable population.

We stay vigilant and make sure that we practice minimum health standards ALWAYS. And even if it is the Christmas holidays, let’s make sure that we get vaccinated (for those that have not even received a single shot) so that we can keep ourselves protected and keep those masks on at all times. If you do not need to go to a Christmas party, don’t. Superspreader events, staged by political rallies should be avoided. After all, these politicians will not pay for your health care – or your funeral.

With that said, the Health Agency announces, 237 new cases today based on a little over 30,000 tests and 1% positivity last December 13. With more recoveries, the active cases remain on a decline and are just a tad above 10,000. Close to 57% of the actives are moderate to critical.

There are 100 deaths added today, majority of which are backlog reports.

NCR accounted for 20% of today’s total with 48 cases. Surprisingly it was Northern Mindanao that came in second with 27. Seven regions report single digits.

On a provincial level, it was Lanao del Norte that led the pack with 24 cases. Iligan City topped the LGUs with 22 cases and was the only LGU that had more than 20 cases. Three provinces had double digits, including Zamboanga del Sur and Iloilo. Three LGUs also had double digits, with Quezon City and Zamboanga City added to this list.

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