The Philippines’ Health department said the country has been deemed a “high risk” for COVID-19 with the continuous increase in infections in the past days.
“We are now at high risk case classification from low risk case classification in the previous week,” said Health department spokesperson Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.
She said the country is showing a positive two-week growth rate of 222 percent and moderate risk average daily attack rate of 1.07 cases for every 100,000 individuals.
She assured, however, that despite the increase in cases, the healthcare utilization rate across the country remained at low risk, with only 18 percent of the total beds utilized.
On Monday, January 3, the Department of Health recorded 4,084 new COVID-19 cases with 497 recoveries and 16 deaths.
There were two laboratories that were not operational on January 1 and 22 laboratories failed to submit their data.
The National Capital Region has been classified as “high risk” for the virus, said Vergeire, adding that the region had an 813 percent growth rate in cases and an average daily attack rate of 5.42 per 100,000 people over the last two weeks.
The national capital region is placed under Alert Level 3 until January 15 amid a sharp rise in cases.
The Philippines is seeing a renewed spike in cases, which authorities have attributed to increased mobility during the holiday season and lax compliance to health protocols.
Vergeire said the transmission of the highly contagious Omicron variant in communities is “assumed” even if health authorities have yet to confirm it through genome sequencing.
“Based on our current observation, our assumption is it’s now in the community because we have seen a sudden increase in the number of cases,” she said.
The Philippines has so far detected three local cases and 11 imported cases of the Omicron variant.
The Health department has earlier warned of an “exponential growth” in COVID-19 cases due to Omicron, which is seen to be more contagious than the already transmissible Delta variant.