MANILA: The Philippines is now “low-risk” for COVID-19, the Department of Health announced on Monday, over a month after the country experienced its peak infection rates fueled by the highly transmissible Delta variant.
The country’s daily case count has decreased by 48 percent over the last two weeks, while its healthcare capacity was at “moderate risk,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a press briefing.
In mid-September, the Philippines was recording over 26,000 new infections daily, as the Delta variant swept the country. On Monday, authorities reported 4,405 new infections, bringing the total number of cases to 2.76 million, with nearly 42,000 deaths.
“Nationally we are at low-risk case classification with a negative two-week growth rate at negative 48 percent and a moderate-risk average daily attack rate of 5.89 cases for every 100,000 individuals,” Vergeire said.
“Along with the decline of our cases, we see that the weekly deaths are also in a downtrend since the start of October.”
As increased mobility will be expected in the coming months ahead of Christmas, Vergeire urged the 110 million-strong public to remain vigilant and continue to observe health protocols. In accordance with tradition, Filipinos flock cemeteries to honor their departed on All Saints’ Day, with authorities on Monday announcing the closure of graveyards and memorial parks from Oct. 29 to Nov. 2.
“We are not saying that we are out of the woods,” Vergeire said. “The fight is not over yet. We cannot be complacent at this time. We can go out but we have to be careful.”