Overconfidence is apparently taking hold in some countries. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the U.N. agency was concerned about a narrative that preventing transmission is no longer possible. The presence of vaccines and the high transmissibility yet lower severity of Omicron has fed into that mindset. On the contrary, preventing transmission is still necessary.
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” Ghebreyesus said during the briefing. “More transmission means more deaths. We are not calling for any country to return to so-called lockdown. But we are calling on all countries to protect their people using every tool in the toolkit, not vaccines alone.”
Omicron peak done in the Philippines
There is some comparatively good news in the Philippines as the Omicron peak seems to have already passed. The highest recorded positive COVID-19 cases happened on Saturday, January 15, 2022. A little over 39,000 positive cases were reported on that date. Most of the country was placed under Alert Level 3 status for the entire month of January because of the rising Omicron numbers.
There have been 7,661 new cases and 43 new deaths recorded in the Philippines on February 2, 2022. This has prompted Malacañan Palace to place Metro Manila and seven other provinces under the less restrictive Alert Level 2. The Philippine Department of Health reported on the same day that the country is back to moderate risk status for COVID-19. It was previously at the high and critical risk classification.