The “Tugon ng Masa” survey was done from December 7 to 12 last year. Daily infections at that point had averaged between 300 to 600.
The irony in those results is that the Philippines saw high COVID infections mere weeks after the survey period. The highly infectious Omicron variant was detected throughout Southeast Asia. However, only the Philippines suffered an exponential rise in infections. Partially blamed for the spike was complacency in mask-wearing and social distancing during the Christmas holidays.
“We are seeing community transmission of the Omicron variant in the capital region,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire recently told a public briefing. The all-time highest number of COVID cases reported happened on January 15. On that date, a staggering 39,004 active cases were reported. Since then, numbers have been gradually decreasing. There were 18,191 new cases and 74 new deaths reported on January 27.
With more than 3.16 million cases and nearly 53,000 deaths, the Philippines has the highest COVID-19 infections and casualties in Southeast Asia after Indonesia.