THE Philippines has already surpassed the worst Covid-19 surge brought about by the highly transmissible BA.5 and BA.4 Omicron subvariants, infectious disease expert Doctor Rontgene Solante said on Thursday, November 10, 2022.

Solante made the statement as the Covid-19 cases continue to go down, especially in “highly populated regions” such as the National Capital Region, Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod and Davao where “drastic” decreases in cases were recorded.

“Ibig sabihin, nalampasan na natin yung tinatawag nating wave. So pababa na ang mga kaso. And dahil bumaba na s’ya, we also developed some sort of population immunity, nakukuha natin doon sa mga na-infection, nag-develop na ng mga antibody against BA.5,” he said in a Laging Handa public briefing.

(This means we have passed what we call a wave. The cases are going down. And because it has come down, we also developed some sort of population immunity, we get it from those who have been infected, who have developed antibodies against BA.5.)

“And doon naman sa mga kumpleto ang bakuna at na-booster, tuloy-tuloy din ang proteksyon. And with that trend, with the number of cases, nakikita natin ang (health care utilization rate) including ICU rate ay tuloy-tuloy ding bumaba sa mga hospital,” he added.

(And for those who have completed the vaccine and have been boosted, the protection is also continuous. And with that trend, with the number of cases, we see the health care utilization rate, including the ICU rate, is also continuously decreasing in hospitals.)

The country, however, is not yet off the hook as Solante said the transmission of infection as a result of the recently concluded All Souls’ and All Saints’ Days, which further increased the mobility of the people, is yet to be known.

He is hoping that the decrease in cases will continue, especially as Filipinos prepare for the upcoming holidays in December.

As of November 9, the country had a total of 15,989 active Covid-19 cases.

The country’s weekly Covid-19 cases went as high as 23,264 in August, the highest since the Omicron variant wave in which weekly cases skyrocketed to over 200,000.

From November 3 to 9, weekly cases went down to 3,452.

On Wednesday, Octa Research fellow Doctor Guido David said the seven-day Covid-19 positivity rate in Metro Manila went down further to 7.8 percent, the new lowest positivity rate in the region since July from the 9.5 percent recorded during the previous week.

He said it may dip to less than five percent, which is within the recommended threshold of the World Health Organization, with about 100 new cases per day by the end of November. (SunStar Philippines)