Infectious disease expert Dr. Edsel Salvaña (PPD photo)

MANILA – The Covid-19 situation is moving toward the endemic phase considering the Covid-19 metrics, an infectious disease expert said Thursday.

In a televised public briefing, Dr. Edsel Salvaña said in an endemic phase, the damage brought about by a certain disease is predictable.

“Ang endemic naman hindi ibig sabihin ay wala nang pinsala ang isang bagay (Endemic [phase] does not mean something can no longer cause damage),” he said.

“Ang ibig sabihin lang ng endemic is predictable na 'yung pinsala ng isang disease na meron na tayong gamot, meron na tayong bakuna, at kaya na ng ating healthcare systems (Endemic means the damage caused by the disease is predictable and we already have treatment, medicine and our healthcare system can address it),” he added.

Health experts say there are endemic diseases like dengue and tuberculosis which still circulate and claim lives worldwide.

However, the main problem with Covid-19 is mutation and the risk of having a new variant that is more difficult to deal with.

“But, overall the vaccines are keeping the number of severe cases low, so, papunta na ‘yan sa endemicity, it is just a matter of time kung kailan 'yan ide-declare ng (it’s moving to endemicity, it’s just a matter of time when it will be declared by the) WHO [World Health Organization],” Salvaña said.

“And we can help that along by getting vaccinated and getting boosted and wearing masks para mas makarating tayo sa point na ‘yun (so we can quickly reach that point),” he added.

To date, the country remains under the low-risk classification for Covid-19 despite the continued increase in cases as the healthcare utilization rate remains below 50 percent.

About 71 million Filipinos are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, 15.3 million individuals have an up-to-date vaccination or have received their first booster and over 954,000 have received their second booster shot. (PNA)