PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS

THE PHILIPPINES may record as many as 670 coronavirus infections daily by the end of April if people ignore health protocols, according to the Department of Health (DoH).

“If our compliance with minimum health standards declines — for example, they have a scenario it decreases by 20% — our national daily cases can reach 670 per day,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire told an online news briefing on Tuesday.

She said the country might post 70 to 268 daily infections by end-April if Filipinos continue to observe health standards.

This assumes the absence of any lockdowns, with Omicron as the dominant variant, a 75% national vaccination rate and with 15% of them having received booster shots.

“The projections are based on assumptions, it is not cast in stone,” Ms. Vergeire said in mixed English and Filipino. “There are a lot of assumptions that could help in the coming weeks or months. Other risk factors may come into play like new variants.”

The country, which remains at minimal risk from the coronavirus, recorded an average of 389 daily infections in the past week, 24% lower than a week earlier. The country’s positivity rate was 2.1%, lower than 2.7% a week earlier, she said.

She traced decreasing infections to more people having been vaccinated against the coronavirus and compliance with health protocols.

Ms. Vergeire said they have not observed a significant increase in coronavirus infections in any areas of the country. “We’re monitoring some areas but the increase in cases is insignificant as it is less than 10.”

Earlier in the day, Ms. Vergeire told ABS-CBN News Channel an 11.8 million of 45 million Filipinos had been injected with booster shots.

“Both the natural immunity and the immunity coming from our vaccines wane over time,” she said. “That’s why we are offering the boosters because based on studies, it gives you additional protection especially for severe infection, deaths and hospitalizations.” — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza



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