WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
How many people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the Philippines? How many have recovered, and how many have died? What is President Rodrigo Duterte doing about it?
Metro Manila and other parts of the country have eased into the “new normal,” owing to lower cases. Will this be sustained? How is the Department of Health addressing the evolving situation? What should the public expect in terms of the economy? What are the latest updates from the World Health Organization?
Bookmark and refresh this page for the latest news updates, opinion articles, and analysis pieces about the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines.
Philippines detects 5 new cases of Omicron BA.2.12.1
The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday, May 31, announced the detection of five new cases of Omicron BA.2.12.1, which is steadily becoming more prominent in the United States.
The Philippines now has 22 cases of this Omicron type, which is believed to be up to 27% more transmissible than BA.2, the dominant subvariant of Omicron in the Philippines and the rest of the world.
Of the five new cases, three are returning overseas Filipinos from the United States. All are fully vaccinated. Meanwhile, two cases are local.
Last May 17, the DOH confirmed the local transmission of the more contagious Omicron subvariant BA.2.12.1.
COVID-19 Weekly Watch: Vaccines for kids under 5 soon?
Pfizer recently announced that it would seek authorization from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its vaccine for children under 5 years old to at least 6 months old, after a study of administering a third dose was found to improve the vaccine’s efficacy.
Both in the US and in the Philippines, little kids in this age bracket are the only group that cannot get vaccinated yet. An approval by the US FDA will pave the way for one with the Philippines’ FDA, which only accepts vaccine applications for vaccines or drugs that have been granted emergency approval in their respective countries or mature and established FDAs, like that of the US.
This week of May 29, 2022, we look at updates to vaccines for kids under 5 years old, if the Philippines will see a new surge in cases, and what we know about Omicron subvariants.
Read the full outlook here.
Senate to go back to face-to-face sessions by May 30
The Senate is set to return to holding face-to-face plenary sessions by next Monday, May 30, after following a hybrid setup since the coronavirus pandemic hit the country in 2020.
“There is no longer an emergency. The worst is Alert Level 1. So we have to show the people we are working,” said Senate President Vicente Sotto III during the session on Thursday, May 26. No other senator objected to Sotto’s motion.
The Senate under the current 18th Congress is set to adjourn sine die on June 3. When the Senate meets again in July, it will already be for the 19th Congress under the administration of President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Vaccine czar Galvez tests positive for COVID-19
Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, May 22, and is now under isolation with his family.
In a statement, Galvez said he is experiencing mild symptoms but remains “in high spirits.” He urged people he came in contact with over the past week to have themselves tested.
“While I am under isolation, I will continue to monitor the country’s peace processes and vaccination efforts,” added Galvez, who is also the presidential peace adviser.
COVID-19 Weekly Watch: Omicron subvariants come to PH. Frequent boosters next?
Coronavirus cases continue to fall in the Philippines, with an average of some 160 new cases reported daily in the previous week. The Department of Health (DOH) says the country remains at “minimal risk” for COVID-19.
Roughly 62% of all Filipinos have been fully vaccinated.
This week of May 22, 2022, we look at what another Omicron subvariant means for the Philippines’ pandemic response, booster updates, and how scientists assess potential futures for the virus.
Read the full outlook here.