Another Covid-19 surge possible as holiday, poll seasons near

Another Covid-19 surge possible as holiday, poll seasons near

MANILA – Filipinos are urged to continue practicing minimum public health standards like maintaining physical distancing to avoid another surge in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases.

This as the holiday and election seasons are upcoming, and people may relax in practicing social distancing.

In a press conference Wednesday, Metro Pacific Hospitals chief operating officer Jeffrey Staples said the country is “in the whole stretch” but has not yet reached the end of the tunnel in its fight against Covid-19.

“I don’t think that we can let our guard down yet. We anticipate that with the holidays coming up, with the election season coming up, with a lot of mass gatherings and people relaxing the social distancing discipline, we may see another surge or two in cases before we can say that the virus is behind us,” Staples said.

He added that with the nature of the virus, mutation into new variants could be a threat in the future.

The health department reported Wednesday that the positivity rate is below 5 percent, the same level at end-January this year before surges were experienced due to Alpha and Delta variants.

“This virus has taught us one thing (that) is not to let us guard down. We can see what’s happening in other countries as they achieved (a) high vaccination rate, they’ve opened up their economies, they relaxed social distancing measures, and now they’re seeing a significant surge in cases,” Staples added.

Meanwhile, Metro Pacific Investment Corp. (MPIC) chair Manuel V. Pangilinan said revenues of its hospital business now surpassed its toll ways and water businesses.

MPIC is the parent company of Metro Pacific Hospitals, which has 18 hospitals, six provincial cancer radiotherapy centers, two healthcare colleges, and one central laboratory across the country.

Pangilinan said an initial public offering (IPO) for its hospital business may be possible only by 2023.

“Probably not in 2022, but there’s (a) possibility that it’s happening in 2023. Seeing the good recovery of hospitals this year from a poor performance last year; magnificent recovery this year,” he added. (PNA)

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