Thu. May 26th, 2022

As OCTA Research Senior Fellow Dr. Guido David sees new Covid-19 cases may soon exceeding the figures recorded in previous surges, especially in Metro Manila, Senator and Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography Christopher “Bong” Go urged Filipinos not to slacken and continue strictly adhering to the health and safety protocols.

“It is highly likely that the Omicron variant is causing the increase in new cases, given the high reproduction number. In fact in Metro Manila, the reproduction number is now at 4.05 while during the Delta [surge], it did not exceed 2,” Guido David said.

As of January 1, the Department of Health has detected 14 cases of Omicron variant throughout the country. Three of the cases are local, with two from Bicol and one from Metro Manila, and the rest are imported. The health department also noted that there is a “high possibility” of local transmission of the said variant.

“As the holiday season draws to a close, everyone is reminded to remain vigilant as we continue to battle COVID-19. It is important to understand that the health protocols will only work if every person remains disciplined and cooperative,” Go emphasized.

He warned that noncompliance with the protocols and other requirements will be strongly dealt with, in accordance with the law.

Earlier, Go has asked the Department of Justice (DoJ) to look at a possible syndicate that enables people required to undergo mandatory quarantine to skip it for a fee.

The senator voiced alarm over reports that a certain hotel in Makati City allegedly allowed a person under mandatory quarantine to sneak out of its premises and was later seen in a local bar in the city on Dec. 23, 2021.

The Department of Tourism has identified the guest as Gwyneth Anne Chua, who stayed at the Berjaya Hotel in its show-cause order to management dated Dec. 29, asking it to explain the incident. ABS-CBN News posted a copy of the order on Facebook.

Berjaya responded to the DOT on the same day, saying Chua had been transfered to a different facility. Here’s what we know so far:

Dec. 22, Wednesday — Chua checks into Berjaya Hotel

Dec. 23, Thursday — Chua, according to the DOT, was seet at a bar in Poblacion

Dec. 27, Monday — Chua tests positive for COVID-19

Dec. 29, Wednesday — Chua is “extracted” from the hotel, management said.

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“Sayang ‘yung naumpisahan natin — ang magandang takbo ng ating COVID-19 response at vaccine rollout — kung magiging kampante muli tayo,” Senator Go added.

The senator renewed his appeal to Filipinos to get inoculated as soon as possible. He also urged those eligible to get their booster shots.

“Magpabakuna na sa kanilang pinakamalapit na vaccination site upang makuha ang proteksyon na kailangan laban sa patuloy pa ring kumakalat na COVID-19 na sakit at iba’t ibang variants nito. Libre naman po ang bakuna mula sa gobyerno. Paraan din ito upang maprotektahan ang inyong mga pamilya at mga komunidad,” stressed Go.

DOH revealed on Saturday that data from hospitals in the National Capital Region showed that 85 percent of those in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) who require ventilators are unvaccinated.

The government moved swiftly and raised the alert level status in Metro Manila from Level 2 to Level 3 from January 3 to 15.

As of January 1, the country has administered a total of 108,757,357 doses of vaccines. A total of 49,797,374 Filipinos are fully vaccinated while 57,147,099 have received their first doses. A total of 1,812,884 booster shots have been administered.

“Please remember that the government cannot do this alone. We need your cooperation in ending this pandemic, just as we need your help in continuing our collaborative work in the community in light of the multiple crises that we are facing,” the Senator concluded.

WATCH VIDEO: 3,617 New Cases Greeted Us on New Year’s Day From only 65 on December 14, 2021

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