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MANILA, Dec 6 (Mabuhay) — The Philippines and most of the regions in the country are now classified at minimal risk for COVID-19, the Department of Health (DOH) announced Monday.

In a media briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the Philippines recorded a negative 2-week growth rate of -57% and a low-risk average daily attack rate of .67 per 100,000 individuals.

“Nationally, we remain at minimal risk case classification,” Vergeire said.

According to Vergeire, the average daily cases in the country decreased by 397 cases or 42% this week to an average of 544 cases per day.

“These average cases per day is already 9 times lower than those reported in July of 2021 at 4,982 and also lower than 1,130 cases per day observed from December 27, 2020, from January 2 of 2021,” Vergeire said.

“Looking at the epidemic curve of our major island groups and the NCR Plus areas, majority of areas have been on a plateau since the start of November while the rest of Luzon showed signs of plateauing in the case trend in the recent week,” she added.

Meanwhile, Vergeire said the national health systems capacity was also at low risk.

Vergeire said national admissions and ICU admissions had declined by 21% and 26%, respectively.

“At the national level, the percentage of critical cases had remained almost the same since mid-October. Followed by a slow decline starting November,” Vergeire said.

“For the severe cases… we saw its percentage among admissions continuously decline since the end of October,” she added.

Among admissions, the Health Undersecretary said 18% were severe and 8% were critical as of December 4.

All regions at low to minimal risk

Data from the DOH showed that aside from Region II, the Cordillera Administrative Region, Region IX, and the National Capital Region (NCR), all regions in the country are at minimal risk classification for COVID-19.

“As of this date, all provinces, highly urbanized cities, and independent component cities are at minimal to low-risk case classification and are under Alert Level 2,” she said.

According to Vergeire, all regions show a decrease in ADAR and have recorded negative 1 to 2-week growth rates.

She added that all regions have a total bed and ICU utilization of less than 50%.

NCR recorded a negative 2-week growth rate of -57% and an ADAR of 1.13 per 100,000 population. Vergeire said the NCR also showed a 51% decrease in new cases from the previous week.

“Similar to the national data, the NCR recent cases per day is already 5% lower than July of 2021, which was 628 cases per day,” she said.

However, Vergeire said Eastern Samar and Zamboanga Sibugay showed positive 1-week to 2-week growth rates.

“A slight increase was seen in their average daily attack rates from the previous week, but remained at less than 1 per 100,000 population,” she said.

“Despite this positive growth, both areas remain to be at low-risk case classification with both total COVID-19 beds and ICU at low risk,” she added.

Meanwhile, NCR recorded the lowest positivity rate at 1.1%, followed by Region IV-A and Region VII at 1.20%.

“Only Regions II, IV-B, and IX had rates at more than 5% but observed to be lower than the previous weeks and steadily declining,” Vergeire said.(MNS)

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