(PNA photo by Avito Dalan)

MANILA – The country is now classified high risk for Covid-19 following the increase in cases toward the end of 2021, a health official said Monday.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the epidemic curve shows the current average daily cases have increased significantly by 570 percent this week – December 27, 2021 to January 2, 2022 – which is seven times higher than in previous weeks.

“Nationally we are now at high-risk case classification from low-risk case class in the previous week showing a positive two-week growth rate at 222 percent, and a “moderate risk average daily attack rate of 1.07 case for every 100,000 individuals,” Vergeire said in a media forum.

Latest data from the Department of Health showed that the island groups are showing signs of increase in cases while the National Capital Region (NCR) shows a sharp uptick in cases in the recent weeks.

“Likewise, the NCR is at high-risk case classification showing a high risk one week growth rate and two-week growth rate and moderate risk daily average attack rate of 5.42 cases per 100,000 population,” Vergeire said.

The health systems capacity in the region remains to be under 50 percent utilization while the national beds capacity is at low risk with total utilization at 18 percent and intensive care unit beds utilization at 22 percent.

The five other regions with positive one week growth rate and two-week growth rate include Region 4-A (Calabarzon), Region 3, Region 9, Region 11 and Region 10. These regions have low to moderate risk case classification.

“The rest of the regions showed positive increasing cases only in the recent one week. Healthcare utilization rate in all regions remains to be low risk,” Vergeire said. (PNA)