Western Pacific COVID cases and deaths leveled off, but increases still possible GMA News Online

The World Health Organization’s regional director for the Western Pacific, Dr Takeshi Kasai, said on Friday that the number of COVID-19 infections and deaths in the region had already plateaued.

“While a few countries still face outbreaks in many countries in the Western Pacific, the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths has now declined and is plateauing,” Kasai said in a virtual presser.

“There are also more and more people getting vaccinated and the pressure on hospital systems in many places has eased. In most parts of the region, things are going in the right direction,” he said. added Kasai.

The Philippines is one of the countries and territories included in the WHO Western Pacific Region.

However, Kasai has urged the public not to be complacent as, globally, cases have been increasing for consecutive weeks and the number of deaths from COVID-19 has increased due to the “decrease” in compliance with protective measures and the Delta variant.

Omicron variant

With the threat of the Omicron coronavirus variant, Kasai also said the public should expect flare-ups in the future as the coronavirus continues to mutate.

He further noted that the COVID-19 pandemic is still “far from over.”

“We shouldn’t be surprised to see more outbreaks in the future as long as transmission continues, the virus may continue to mutate as demonstrated by the emergence of Omicron, reminding us to remain vigilant,” Kasai said.

“With the holiday season coming, we are seeing more gatherings and movements of people and the Northern Hemisphere winter can also lead to outbreaks of other illnesses like influenza alongside COVID-19,” a- he added.

According to WHO Regional Emergency Director Dr Babatunde Olowokure, experts continue to monitor Omicron and its effects on the population as there is no information to indicate that the variant suggests virulence at this time.

Olowokure also said there was no information yet to suggest that current COVID-19 vaccines are not effective against said variant, which is believed to be more transmissible.

As part of the measures taken by the Philippine government to prevent the entry and spread of the Omicron variant, new testing and quarantine protocols for travelers from countries not on the country’s red list have been introduced. imposed. – RSJ, GMA News

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