Department of Health officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire (Photo by Yancy Lim)

MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday said the number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections may increase in February, but it would not reach over 1,000 cases per day.

“If ever minimum public health standards will decline, tapos tuloy-tuloy ang pasok ng variants na (and there is continuous entry of) highly evasive and highly transmissible, we would see up to mga 730 cases by Feb. 15,” DOH officer-in-charge Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a media briefing.

Vergeire noted a plateau in cases that are both “declining nationally and in the regional areas”.

Pero ngayong araw na ito nakita natin mayroon tayong (But today, we see a) 1 percent increase but this is not significant for us to say that there is really this uptick in cases as a result of the holiday season,” she said.

Apart from plateauing and declining cases, the DOH reported a “slowdown” in the admission of severe and critical cases in intensive care units of Covid-19 facilities in recent days.

As of Jan. 8, only 18.1 percent or 431 out of the 2,379 intensive care unit (ICU) beds are in use, while 26.1 percent or 4,185 of 19,373 non-ICU beds are utilized according to DOH data.

About 447 daily Covid-19 infections were recorded from Jan. 2 to 8.

Last week, the DOH said the public need not worry about the variants which may enter the country as long as they know how to protect themselves through vaccination and compliance with minimum public health standards.

“As we always say, this is not cast in stone, hindi ito ‘yung talagang mangayayari (this is not what will actually happen), these are just estimates which can help us prepare, prepare our units, prepare our hospitals, and prepare our surveillances,” Vergeire said. (PNA)