The Philippines is already seeing signs of shifting from a pandemic to an endemic state due to its improved healthcare utilization rate and decreasing COVID-19 infections, an infectious disease expert said Wednesday.
During a Laging Handa briefing, Dr. Edsel Salvana explained the transition to an endemic situation is not quick as it undergoes a gradual process.
However, with the low healthcare utilization rate and new daily COVID-19 cases recorded, the country might already be moving forward towards the endemic state, he said.
“Nakikita na naman natin ‘yung signs of endemicity dito na hindi na nape-pressure ang ating healthcare system, manageable na, meron tayong mga lunas para dito, and we know how to prevent it with our masks and our vaccines,” he said.
“In a way, nagiging endemic na siya. Every single day na the cases remain low, that’s a step forward towards endemicity,” he added.
(We are already seeing here the signs of endemicity that our healthcare system is no longer under pressure, it is manageable, we have cures for the virus, and we know how to prevent it with our masks and our vaccines. In a way, the country is becoming endemic. Every single day that the cases remain low, that’s a step forward towards endemicity.)
The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday reported 225 new COVID-19 infections, the lowest COVID-19 tally this year, adding the nationwide caseload to 3,679,983.
Based on DOH’s latest data, the bed occupancy in the country is at 16.9%, with 5,592 beds occupied, while 27,579 were vacant.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire previously pointed out that endemic is “a state wherein cases are stable, already constant, and predictable.” With this, there should be a balance between the level of transmission and immunity, she said.
Salvana then reminded that it is still vital for the public to remain vigilant and continue observing the minimum public health standards.
“Andiyan naman ang ating safeguards. ‘Wag lang sana talaga magsasawa ang mga tao sa paggamit ng masks at magpa-boost na talaga sila para at least mas marami tayong layers of protection,” he added.
(Our safeguards are in place. I hope people don’t really get tired of using masks and take their booster shots so that they have additional layers of protection.)—AOL, GMA News