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DOH: No increase in COVID-19 cases, but govt remains on guard

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 24) — The Department of Health on Tuesday denied that the country is experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases, but assured the public it continues to keep a close eye on the issue after Singapore reported another variety of Omicron.

“We don’t have an increase in COVID cases," Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa said at a briefing. «Singapore reported another variety of Omicron, but it’s still mild and there are no deaths reported. So, we just have to watch out for it.”

The DOH said there were 1,146 new COVID-19 cases reported in the past week, including 33 severe and critical patients. There were also nine deaths logged from Oct. 9 to 22.

The daily average of 164 new cases was 8% lower compared to those from Oct. 9 to Oct.15, it added.

Herbosa, however, noted that they have monitored an increase of influenza-like illnesses, adding that some schools have shifted to online blended learning as students have exhibited symptoms.

»It’s really the time during the rainy season where respiratory illness increases kasi nga sarado ang bintana [windows are closed], we are in enclosed spaces and people can really get infected,” he said.

The health chief encouraged the people to get the flu vaccine.

He said those who are at high risk, particularly the elderly and senior citizens, should get the shot.