(Un)common Sense by James Veloso
(Un)Common Sense

Covid-19 cases on the rise again?

May 5, 2023, 12:02 AM
James Veloso

James Veloso


The last thing many Filipinos would probably want to hear in this sweltering summer heat is that once again, health authorities are seeing a "slow but sure" spike in Covid-19 cases.

Just last week, the authorities re-imposed its "Alert Level" status (a term we had never really heard or cared about since last December) in several areas in the country from April 15 to 30 after seeing an uptick in the number of cases in the past days.

Metro Manila and Laguna province remain under Alert Level 1, or the "most relaxed" alert level classification, as "positivity rates" (yet another term Filipinos couldn't care less about), or the number of people testing positive for Covid-19, increased to 12.3 percent as of April 26.

According to OCTA Research Group (what’s that group doing, again?), Laguna province ranked third in the greatest number of new Covid-19 cases reported, with 29 new cases reported as of that date.

But should we really be concerned that we might be going back to the same scenario three years ago when virtually the entire province stayed in their homes steeped in anxiety and fear in the midst of a hellish summer heat?

Unlikely, if health authorities are to be asked.

For one thing, vaccines are now available, and many LGUs in Laguna province are now offering second booster shots to help prevent newer varieties of the coronavirus from spreading.

The focus of health authorities has now also shifted from entirely preventing the virus to simply managing the disease so that it doesn’t kill more people. (Let’s face it, by now coronavirus has become as endemic as the common cold, and the best thing we can do now is to CONTINUE to the most basic of preventive measures such as wearing of face masks and frequent sanitations.)

And according to Department of Health (DOH) officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire, the healthcare utilization rate for Covid-19 cases remains low and the healthcare system is prepared for the increase in infections.

This isn’t like the previous waves of Covid-19 when everyone, from healthcare workers to patients' relatives, are at loss on how to deal with the symptoms of the virus.

Three years, I believe, is more than enough time for us to prepare for this (inevitable) surge of Covid-19 cases, as other countries have finally found the ideal (not perfect, let me stress here) balance between controlling the spread of the disease to reviving an economy that was almost brought to its knees by the pandemic.

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