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COVID-19 Situation in the Philippines (January 2022)

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The world continues to battle against COVID-19, especially the new omicron variant. Let’s take a look at what are the numbers surrounding the Philippines and their battle against COVID-19.

Total Number of Detected COVID-19 Cases

As of 4 p.m. on January 26, 2022, the total number of cases for which data has been gathered is 3,475, 293. The Department of Health had reported 15,789 more cases of COVID-19 on January 26. Meanwhile, 32,712 people have been treated and 66 have died. The breakdown is as such:

  • 6.6% (230,410) – active cases
  • 91.8% (3,191,219) – cured of COVID-19
  • 1.54% (53,664) – died of COVID-19.

Delta vs Omicron variant 

The COVID-19 Omicron variant will “most likely” replace Delta as the most prevalent type, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) national official stated.”It is quite possible that the Omicron variant will supplant the Delta variant in the same way that the Delta variant supplanted the earlier Alpha and Beta variants. Given the level of transmissibility that the Omicron form has demonstrated in early stages in impacted nations, we may expect it to eventually replace the Delta variant,” Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe told ABS-CBN News Channel’s Headstart.

Abeyasinghe added that the Omicron version has already been detected in 77 countries since November, demonstrating how quickly the mutation can spread. “That is precisely what we are witnessing in nations where Omicron is already being reported locally. Indeed, several countries estimate that Omicron will become the prevalent strain within weeks,” the WHO official stated.

The first 2 imported cases of the Omicron strain in the Philippines were confirmed from a returning Filipino from Japan on December 1 and another from a Nigerian resident on November 30.

According to preliminary investigations, the Omicron variation may be more than tenfold as transmissible as the original SARS-CoV-2 virus or 4.2 times as transmissible as the Delta variant

Hospital/ICU Bed Utilisation

Hospital bed occupancy for COVID-19 patients surged by 41% in Metro Manila, while intensive care unit (ICU) utilisation increased by 37%, independent analytics firm OCTA Research said Sunday.

“Over a one-week period, the number of occupied hospital beds for COVID-19 grew by 41% in the NCR (National Capital Region), from 1,381 on December 24 to 1,942 on December 31,” OCTA Research fellow Guido David wrote on Twitter.

Vaccination status

As of January 26, 2022, the Philippines has so far administered a total of 125,089,117 doses of COVID-19 vaccination. In addition, a total of 6,851,138 doses of COVID-19 booster shots have been administered. The DOH emphasised that booster shots are not advised for 12- to 17-year-olds at this time.

Administration of COVID-19 vaccination booster shots

The priority Groups A2 and A3 shall receive a single dose of COVID-19 vaccine as a homologous or heterologous booster or additional dose, as appropriate, at least six (6) months after completion of the primary dose series of the following vaccines: The following volumes shall be administered:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine: 0.3 ml/dose 
  • Moderna COVID-19 vaccine: 0.25 ml/dose (half of the regular dose) 
  • Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine: 0.5 ml/dose
  • AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine: 0.5 ml/dose 

Priority Groups A2 and A3 may receive the identical booster to their primary series (homologous booster) or a different brand (heterologous booster).

COVID-19 Philippines priority groupsSource: Department of Health, Philippines

Government Restrictions/ Travel Restrictions

The system of COVID-19 alerts levels are based on the new Community Quarantine Classifications determined by the Interagency Task Force (IATF).

  • Alert level 1 is used in areas where:
    • Case transmission is low and decreasing
    • Total bed utilisation rate is low
    • Intensive care unit utilisation rate is decreasing
  • Alert level 2 is used in areas where:
    • Case transmission is low and decreasing
    • Healthcare utilisation is low
    • Case counts are low but increasing, or case counts are low and decreasing but the total bed utilisation rate and intensive care unit utilisation rate are increasing
    • Case counts are low and decreasing but total bed utilisation rate and intensive care unit utilisation rate are increasing
  • Alert Level 3 s used in areas where case counts are high and/or increasing, and both the total bed utilisation rate and the intensive care unit utilisation rate are increasing
  • Alert level 4 is indicating that total bed utilisation rates and intensive care unit utilisation rates are at or near maximum capacity. 
  • Alert level 5 designation is given whenever the number of cases is alarmingly high, and that both the total bed utilisation rate and the intensive care unit utilisation rate are at critical levels

The Governing guidelines of inbound international travel to any port of the Philippines of all individuals coming from territories classified as “Green,” “Yellow,” and “Red” based on their respective incidence rates and case counts as primary criteria, and testing data as secondary criteria. The red list is prohibited to enter the country except for Filipino Citizen. Furthermore, the yellow list can enter the country with 10 days home quarantine and RT PCR test on 5 days. The green list can enter the Philippines due to low incidence rated for as long its fully vaccinated and a criterion of RT-PCR test done on the 5th day upon entry. 

Here is the list of country classification to travel lists.

GREEN LIST: Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, British, Virgin, Islands, Chad, People’s Republic of China, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Falkland Islands (Malvinas,) The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Hong Kong (Chinese Special Administrative Region), Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Montserrat, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay Rwanda, Saba, (Special Municipality of The Kingdom of the Netherlands), Saint Barthelemy, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Senegal Sierra, Leone Sint Eustatius, Sudan, Taiwan, Timor-Leste (East Timor), Togo, Uganda, United Arab Emirates.

RED LIST: Andorra, France, Monaco, Northern Mariana Islands, Réunion, San Marino, South Africa, Switzerland. 

YELLOW LIST: All other jurisdictions not otherwise listed in the classification of “Green, and “Red” shall be effective from 16 December 2021 until February 2022.

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