Palace warns public Covid cases may shoot up

Palace warns public Covid cases may shoot up

Malacañang has urged the public to continue observing minimum public health protocols after the Department of Health (DOH) announced Covid-19 cases in Metro Manila are “starting to peak.”

DOH spokesperson and Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the Philippines recorded a total of 3,051 new Covid-19 cases from June 13 to June 19, which is 82% higher than cases reported the previous week.

Vergerie said Metro Manila recorded the most cases in the past two weeks with 2,194 infections followed by Calabarzon (659), Western Visayas (375), Central Luzon (324) and Central Visayas (183).

“Wear your masks, observe social distancing, wash your hands,” outgoing Communications Secretary and acting presidential spokesperson Martin Andanar told Palace reporters. He agreed that it is not easy to avoid crowds since establishments in areas under Alert Level 1 are now allowed to operate at 100% capacity if proof of full vaccination is presented.

“You just really have to be careful, drink your vitamins, eat healthy, don’t stay up late, and sleep long,” he added allaying fears, however, that the hike in Covid-19 cases in Metro Manila could lead to higher alert level classification or lockdown.

Senior Citizen Party-list Rep. Rodolfo Ordanes, for his part  said de-escalating to an Alert Level 0 classification “seems impossible” to achieve because there are many people who remain unvaccinated and have yet to get booster shots.

“Vaccination levels are much higher now, but there are still many who remain unvaccinated and vulnerable to Covid,” he noted, adding that the top concern is keeping all unvaccinated seniors, persons with disabilities, children, teens, and workers safe by getting them inoculated with the Covid-19 vaccines.

Citing the latest Department of Health (DOH) data, Ordanes said 23% of the A2 population (senior citizens) are not fully vaccinated and many more have not availed of booster shots. He also added that vulnerable groups including adolescents, children and educators should be protected with schools reopening shortly.

OCTA Research fellow Guido David, meanwhile, has  projected that Metro Manila could see a peak in infections during the first two weeks of July. He said Covid-19 cases in Metro Manila could reach 1,000 per day by the end of the month or early next month.