An infectious disease expert agreed on Monday, Aug. 29 with the Department of Health’s (DOH) projection that the country could record more than 9,000 Covid-19 cases daily by the end of September.

Dr. Rontgene M. Solante (Screenshot taken from the Facebook Live of ‘Laging Handa’)

Dr. Rontgene Solante said during the Laging Handa public briefing said that this can be observed due to the BA.5 Omicron subvariant which hinders the pace in which Covid-19 cases decrease in the country.

“Aakyat na naman ito especially sa nabanggit ko na, na tataas ang mobility, tataas ang mga pagtitipon-tipon ‘no sa mga iba’t ibang forms of gatherings. At alam naman natin na itong BA.5 can still infect those even if you are fully vaccinated (This [Covid-19 cases] will rise especially as I have mentioned, given that mobility will increase, there will be different forms of gatherings. And we all know that this BA.5 can even infect those who are fully-vaccinated),” he explained.

However, Solante hopes that cases will not reach that high since this is just a projection and can still be prevented if the first booster shot for the eligible population and the second booster shot will be given to protect against severe infection.

With an increase in cases such as 9,000 and 10,000, Solante said that there’s always that possibility that hospital admissions will increase, and among those that will be admitted are the high-risk or the vulnerable population.

He added that the fact that the vulnerable population is only less than 50 percent protected from getting the infection, the risk of getting the more severe infection is also higher compared to those in the younger population.

“That’s why vaccine is part of that. And we need also to increase the access of antiviral agents that will be very important for this population para kung magka-COVID man sila (if ever they get infected with Covid-19), they have enough protection that they will not go into severe COVID and that will prevent also hospitalization,” he said.

According to DOH Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire, this projection may happen if the “assumptions” will be met such as higher mobility coupled with low adherence to health protocols and low vaccination rate.

Source: Manila Bulletin (