By Jennifer T. Santos
MANILA – The country’s daily average of new coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases increased by 42 percent from April 24 to 30.
In its case bulletin, the Department of Health recorded 637 daily infections, which is higher than the 450 cases logged between April 17 and 23.
In the last week of April, a total of 4,456 new cases were logged, up from the 3,148 recorded the previous week.
The tally of severe and critical infections also rose to 351 from the previous 345 during the same week.
Only 15 percent or 303 out of the 2,021 intensive care unit (ICU) beds are in use, while 18.1 percent or 3,163 of 17,480 non-ICU beds are utilized.
At least 78,443,972, or 100.4 percent of the country’s target population of 78,100,578, have been vaccinated against Covid-19, including 82.16 percent of 8,721,357 senior citizens, as of March 19.
A total of 23,811,248 have received booster shots out of the fully vaccinated population.
To date, the country has logged more than 4.08 million coronavirus cases and more than 66,444 deaths since January 2020.
In an update, it was reported that the National Capital Region’s (NCR) positivity rate or the number of people testing positive for Covid-19 increased to 18.8 percent as of May 1.
Citing latest data from the OCTA Research Group, fellow Dr. Guido David said the figure is a 7.1-percent increase from the 11.7 percent rate in the region last April 24.
“The country recorded 843 new cases, 0 deaths, 885 recoveries, and 7,087 active cases as of May 2,” he said.
These bring the overall tally to 4,090,468 cases, 66,444 deaths and 4,021,987 recoveries.
Vergeire said the rise in Covid-19 cases is caused by the continuous mutation of the virus producing subvariants like the Omicron XBB.1.16 or Arcturus and the public’s behavior.
The increase in Covid-19 infections would continue until June with up to 600 daily cases, she said.
Nonetheless, the number of cases recorded are lower than those logged at the height of the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, she said.
The positivity rate or the number of people testing positive for coronavirus is not a good basis in determining the real picture of the country’s Covid-19 situation.
Vergeire noted that the computation of positivity rate is dependent on the recorded results of reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests which, recently, have shown a tremendous decrease.
“Hindi po magandang basehan ang positivity rate sa ngayon para mabase natin kung ano ang sitwasyon natin sa Covid (Currently, the positivity rate is not a good basis to determine to real situation on Covid-19),” she said.
Positivity rate is affected by the number of individuals getting tested through RT-PCR. However, most Filipinos are using antigen tests now, she said.
“Some of our citizens are not having any tests at all but are just isolating themselves when they are sick,” she added.