The Health Agency announces 1379 new cases with 44 added deaths and 14.3% positivity rate today. While NCR owned less than 35% of the total cases today, Quezon City was the sole triple digit hauler in the country with 154 cases, accounting for 33% of the 472 cases in Mega Manila.
Lower numbers were seen in other LGUs in NCR with twelve LGUs reporting double digits: Manila and Pasig 47 each, Makati 32, Parañaque 28, Las Piñas 26, Pasay City 25, Caloocan 19, Mandaluyong 18, Marikina 17, Valenzuela 16, Taguig 13 and Malabon 10.
Provinces with more than 50 but less than 100 cases include: Cavite 80, Laguna 59, Rizal 66, Bulacan 57 and Iloilo 94. Iloilo and Davao del Sur are provinces where most the new sub variants of Omicron – XBB and XBC were reported from. That is the reason why Iloilo and Davao del Sur have been seeing a jump in their COVID numbers because of the presence of these sub variants of Omicron. With mobility being at its bare minimum, I would suggest that the public keep their masks on in public crowded areas or indoor areas regardless of ventilation status. These sub variants are descendants of Omicron lineage and while reported to present with mild symptoms, may present differently in those who are unvaccinated, those who have not received at least one booster and those who are immunocompromised but are fully vaccinated.
Unfortunately, the absence of an up-to-date vaccine in the country is sad because many of our Asian neighbors have made a more up-to-date vaccine available. Because resources are scarce, and people do not take advantage of the available resources provided them, it would be a waste of money for the government to purchase vaccines that people are not willing to take. Which does not mean that it should not be made available. Government should tap private sector to provide the vaccine on a pay-for-fee basis for those who want to avail of the up-to-date vaccines and Philhealth should reimburse (through a payment scheme), those who cannot afford but want to get vaccinated with the newer vaccines.
In the meantime, personal responsibility is mandatory for everyone. If you feel sick, make sure you isolate and get tested. If you are positive remain in isolation until the mandatory 7 days (recommended by the Department of Health). Remember – day 0 is the first day you experience symptoms and day 1 is the following day (this is opposed to the DoH counting day 1 as the first day of experiencing symptoms). It is also highly suggested that if the resources are available, to retest before coming out of isolation. If you test negative, I highly recommend you keep your masks on in the community as you move about for 48 hours after the first negative test and then retest on the 48th hour. One should have at least 2 consecutive negative tests before being considered recovered and allowed to remove the mask freely even if there is still cough.
Unfortunately, cough will always be the last to go away and on the average, the cough lingers for 2-4 weeks after a COVID infection.