DAILY coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases may spike to over 4,000 by early 2023 due to the numerous mass gatherings expected to happen over the holidays to end 2022, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

In a statement, the DOH said its current projections indicate that cases may surge next year, including the severe and critical cases of Covid-19.

“With the expected increase in mobility during the holiday season, projections estimate daily cases in the country to reach 4,114 by January 15,” said the DOH.

“In this scenario, severe and critical admissions are expected to reach 2,252 admissions by mid-January as well,” it added.

The DOH said Covid-19 cases nationwide are at a plateau with an average of 973 daily cases for the week of December 16 to 22, 2022.

The health agency also said the Covid-19 healthcare utilization rate, as of December 21, was only at 21.73 percent.

Despite this, the health department reiterated that their projections are not guaranteed to happen by the middle of January.

“There are many factors or measures to consider as to whether an area’s increase in Covid-19 cases and projections may or may not happen,” it said.

One way to avoid such a scenario, according to the agency, is to continue increasing the Covid-19 vaccination rates.

“Local governments must continue their vaccination efforts to increase booster dose coverage in the country, especially for the vulnerable population, in order to protect them from the severe and critical effects brought about by the disease,” said the DOH.

As of the latest data, there are 73.7 million fully vaccinated individuals.

However, merely 21.1 million have received theeir booster shots. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)