Despite new Omicron cases, daily COVID-19 cases dip in Eastern Visayas

Brynch Bonachita
Despite new Omicron cases, daily COVID-19 cases dip in Eastern Visayas

PROTECTION. A health worker gives a COVID-19 vaccine jab at a drive thru center in Tacloban City

Tacloban City information office

The Department of Health Eastern Visayas regional office has 109 Omicron cases but cases of COVID-19 are now dipping and the positivity rate is down to 11%

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines – Single-day COVID-19 cases in Eastern Visayas have declined in the past two weeks, with the numbers of confirmed cases falling into the middle two-digits, according to data from the Department of Health (DOH) Region 8 office.

The region has recorded 109 cases of the more infectious Omicron variant with 58 confirmed cases on January 27 and 51 new ones on Monday, February 8.

While the variant is considered more transmissible than the original virus strain, from 386 COVID-19 cases on January 27, the region’s number of single-day infections on Friday, February 11, was just 67.

The positivity rate during the same period also decreased from 49% to 11%.

Citing COVID-19 data from January 1 to February 7, DOH regional information officer Jelyn Lopez-Malibago said Eastern Visayas, which saw the number of new cases rise since the start of the year, had 637 active cases on February 11.

Lopez-Malibago said 80.90% of these cases are asymptomatic, while 18.04% showed mild symptoms. Only 1.06% were tagged as severe.

The health department also reported that the hospital bed utilization stood at 29.67%, making the region low-risk for COVID-19 spread as of Thursday, February 10.

Tacloban City is at a medium-risk level with a bed utilization rate at 51.69%.

Ormoc City (35.92%), Leyte (29.63%), Southern Leyte (9.65%), Samar (22.99%), Northern Samar (1.46%), Eastern Samar (13.88%) and Biliran (19.51%) are currently at low-risk.

Local health officials earlier suspected the possibility of Omicron behind the spike of COVID-19 cases in the region, which detected 58 confirmed cases of the highly transmissible variant on January 27.

On Monday, the DOH Region 8 reported 51 new Omicron cases. –

Brynch Bonachita is a Visayas-based journalist and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship.