NTF: ‘Very Imminent’ Surge in COVID-19 Cases in May Seen

NTF: ‘Very Imminent’ Surge in COVID-19 Cases in May Seen

With large crowds from campaign rallies left and right, and the presence of Omicron sub-variants the world over, the Philippine government is preparing for a surge of COVID-19 cases in May.

National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez said in a public address on April 27 that the country is closely keeping an eye on three Omicron variants, two from South Africa and one from the United States.

Citing experts, Galvez said the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron variants are the "emerging variants of concerns" that could cause the global economy to spiral and renew travel restrictions.

“Inuulit po namin na very imminent na po na tataas ang ating mga kaso at very vulnerable ang mga hindi pa bakunado dahil 95% po ng namamatay ay unvaccinated,” Galvez said. (We repeat, it's very imminent that our cases will rise and the unvaccinated are very vulnerable because 95% of those who die [from COVID-19] are unvaccinated).

“‘Yung mga nabakunahan na ng second dose na mahigit na [tatlong] buwan ay vulnerable na rin dahil bumababa ang bisa ng bakuna pagdating ng panahon, kasama na ang BARMM area at Region 12 at mga lugar na mababa ang coverage.” (Those who have been vaccinated with their second dose more than three months ago are also vulnerable because the efficiency of the vaccine wanes in time. This includes BARMM area and Region 12 as well as other areas with low coverage).

Galvez also said that these variants can cause a rise in COVID-19 cases in the country in the next two to four weeks.

With the expansion of the eligibility for the second booster underway, Galvez believes that vaccinating more Filipinos against COVID-19 can help "prevent another surge of infections and unnecessary fatalities."

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