August 8, 2022

Among the primary factors that may be fueling the resurgence of Covid-19 infections in the country were mobility, emerging sub variants, waning immunity, and non-compliance to minimum public health standards, said a health expert on Monday, July 18.

(Tara Yap / Manila Bulletin)

Health expert and former special adviser of the National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19 Dr. Anthony “Tony” Leachon identified the “confluence of factors” behind the resurgence of Covid-19 cases in the Philippines.

“We don’t restrict travel and going around, so ‘yung mobility is number one. Number two is the arrival of the variant ‘yung BA.5, BA.4 at iba pang variant sa ating bansa, [ito ay] highly transmissible kaya itong dalawang bagay na ito ang nagpapataas ng ating positivity rate (We don’t restrict travel and going around, so mobility is one. Number two is the arrival of BA.5, BA.4, and other variants in the country. These two are highly transmissible, they are causing the increase of our positivity rate),” said Leachon in an interview over DZRH.

“Hindi natin maiiwasan ‘yan because of the travel kaya dapat mag ingat tayo (We cannot avoid this because of the travel so we have to be careful),” Leachon furthered, adding that based on the existing data, at least 40 percent of the viral transmission occurs in Metro Manila. 

Apart from mobility and emerging sub variants, he also listed waning immunity and non-compliance to the minimum public health standards among the reasons why the country is seeing an uptick in infections. 

However, although the country’s Covid-19 positivity rate, which currently is at 11.9 percent, has breached the World Health Organization’s (WHO) benchmark of 5 percent, Leachon said that the health care utilization remained “low” at about 30 percent. 

Despite this, he urged the public to remain vigilant, reiterating that there is an evident viral transmission in the country.

“Sa ngayon ay kailangan mag wear ng mask at i-boost up natin ‘yung ating vaccination at booster [programs] (For now, we need to wear a mask and boost up our vaccination and booster programs),” he added. 

Boost PH’s vaccination drive

Leachon, apart from urging the public to remain vigilant amid the Covid-19 pandemic, previously challenged President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to increase the country’s booster rate to at least 70 million within the first 100 days of his administration. 

This, according to the expert, would give way to the gradual reopening of the Philippine economy, adding that this specific strategy has already been proven effective in countries including Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Thailand. 

Despite this call, the number of boosted individuals remained low at 15, 098, 295 – a small number compared with 70,695, 502 Filipinos who have already completed their primary vaccine shots as of July 2.

Among the primary factors that may be fueling the resurgence of Covid-19 infections in the country were mobility, emerging sub variants, waning immunity, and non-compliance to minimum public health standards, said a health expert on Monday, July 18.

(Tara Yap / Manila Bulletin)

Health expert and former special adviser of the National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19 Dr. Anthony “Tony” Leachon identified the “confluence of factors” behind the resurgence of Covid-19 cases in the Philippines.

“We don’t restrict travel and going around, so ‘yung mobility is number one. Number two is the arrival of the variant ‘yung BA.5, BA.4 at iba pang variant sa ating bansa, [ito ay] highly transmissible kaya itong dalawang bagay na ito ang nagpapataas ng ating positivity rate (We don’t restrict travel and going around, so mobility is one. Number two is the arrival of BA.5, BA.4, and other variants in the country. These two are highly transmissible, they are causing the increase of our positivity rate),” said Leachon in an interview over DZRH.

“Hindi natin maiiwasan ‘yan because of the travel kaya dapat mag ingat tayo (We cannot avoid this because of the travel so we have to be careful),” Leachon furthered, adding that based on the existing data, at least 40 percent of the viral transmission occurs in Metro Manila. 

Apart from mobility and emerging sub variants, he also listed waning immunity and non-compliance to the minimum public health standards among the reasons why the country is seeing an uptick in infections. 

However, although the country’s Covid-19 positivity rate, which currently is at 11.9 percent, has breached the World Health Organization’s (WHO) benchmark of 5 percent, Leachon said that the health care utilization remained “low” at about 30 percent. 

Despite this, he urged the public to remain vigilant, reiterating that there is an evident viral transmission in the country.

“Sa ngayon ay kailangan mag wear ng mask at i-boost up natin ‘yung ating vaccination at booster [programs] (For now, we need to wear a mask and boost up our vaccination and booster programs),” he added. 

Boost PH’s vaccination drive

Leachon, apart from urging the public to remain vigilant amid the Covid-19 pandemic, previously challenged President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to increase the country’s booster rate to at least 70 million within the first 100 days of his administration. 

This, according to the expert, would give way to the gradual reopening of the Philippine economy, adding that this specific strategy has already been proven effective in countries including Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Thailand. 

Despite this call, the number of boosted individuals remained low at 15, 098, 295 – a small number compared with 70,695, 502 Filipinos who have already completed their primary vaccine shots as of July 2.

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