ALTERNATE ROUTE. Motorcycle riders and other motorists wait for their turn to enter the zipper lane along Commonwealth Avenue going to University Avenue in Quezon City on Tuesday (Feb. 22, 2022). The lane was opened to ease the vehicular traffic along the construction area of the Metro Rail Transit-7. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Feb 23(Mabuhay) — All regions in the country are now at low risk for COVID-19 except for the Cordillera Administrative Region and the Davao Region, the Department of Health (DOH) announced Tuesday.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said all regions have been reporting less than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases for the week.

“Maliban po sa CAR at Region 11, ang lahat po ng rehiyon ay nasa low-risk case classification na (Except for CAR and Region 11, all the regions are now at low-risk classification),” Vergeire said during the Palace briefing.

“Lahat po ng rehiyon ay nagpapakita na ng negative 2-week growth rates at nakakita na tayo ng pagbaba ng bilang ng mga bagong kaso ng COVID-19 (All regions are showing negative 2-week growth rates and we have seen a decline in the number of new COVID-19 cases),” she added.

Meanwhile, the Philippines is currently at low-risk case classification with a negative 1-week and 2-week growth rates and a moderate risk average daily attack rate (ADAR).

Low risk means the ADAR is less than 1.

Vergeire also said the national health systems capacity is also at low risk.

“Ang atin din pong national healthcare systems capacity ay nasa low risk maliban sa Region 11 na nasa moderate risk ang kanilang ICU utilization rate (Our national healthcare systems capacity is at low risk except for Region 11 as its ICU utilization rate is at moderate risk),” she said.

Based on DOH data, she said only around 12% to 15% of national hospital admissions are severe and critical.

“Karamihan sa naoospital ay mild at moderate ang sintomas. Patotoo ito na mabisang panangga ang mga bakuna laban sa malubha at critical na sakit na dulot ng COVID-19,” she said.

Variants of concern

Meanwhile, Vergeire said among the variants of concern (VOCs) in the country, the more transmissible Omicron variant had the highest number of new infections but the lowest number of severe and critical cases.

She said average daily cases peaked at 20,903 from 5,573 during the Delta surge in the country.

During the surge of the Omicron variant, cases peaked at 34,903 from 629.

“Bagamat pinakamaraming kaso ang naitala sa Omicron period, and Omicron variant din ang may pinakitang kakaunting severe at critical cases. Karamihan ng severe at critical cases ay nakita noong Delta situation ng ating bansa,” she said. (MNS)

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