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DOH reports 1,776 new Covid-19 cases on Jan. 8

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The Department of Health (DOH) reported 285 new recoveries from the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), bringing its total to 449,330 or 92.9 percent of all Covid-19 cases in the country as of January 8, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.

In its daily Covid-19 bulletin, the DOH also reported 1,776 new Covid-19 cases, with active cases now at 25,158 or 5.2 percent of all Covid-19 infections.

Of the active cases, it said the majority at 82.6 percent are experiencing mild symptoms, followed by the asymptomatic at 8.6 percent, those in critical condition at 5.4 percent, those with severe symptoms at 2.9 percent, and those with moderate symptoms at 0.48 percent.

Bulacan reported the highest number of new cases with 99, followed by Davao City with 96, Quezon City with 83, Rizal with 80, and Laguna with 64.

Availability of hospital facilities for Covid-19 patients remains high with 60 percent of the country’s 2,100 beds at intensive care units (ICU) available, 64 percent of 16,100 isolation bed unoccupied, 76 percent of 7,600 ward beds unoccupied, and 79 percent of 2,100 ventilators are not in use.

Celebrating Traslacion 2021 at home 

The DOH also warned those planning to celebrate the Feast of the Black Nazarene through the annual "Traslacion" on Saturday to instead celebrate at home or at their local parish to avoid turning the religious event into a Covid-19 “superspreader event”.

In a DOH press release, the Healthcare Professionals Alliance Against Covid-19 (HPAAC) Dr. Anna Ong-Lim emphasized the need for the public to err on the side of caution in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Puwede itong ma-characterize as a superspreader event dahil magkakaroon tayo ng mass gathering sa konteksto na nagaabang tayo ng surge, at nandiyan din ang concern about the UK variant (This can be characterized as a superspreader event because of mass gathering in the event that we are anticipating a surge. There is also the concern of the new UK variant),” Lim said.

Despite the official cancellation of the Traslacion 2021, Quiapo Church head Reverend Monsignor Hernando Coronel said the image of the Black Nazarene will still be available for viewing but encouraged devotees to celebrate the event at home instead.

Marami rin pong mga parokya sa National Capital Region (NCR) at kalapit na mga probinsya na nagdiriwang ng novena at fiesta masses, kaya hindi naman tayo kailangan talaga pumunta sa simbahan ng Quiapo (There are many parishes in NCR and neighboring provinces that celebrate with novena and feast-day masses so there won’t be a need to visit the Quiapo Church),” Coronel said.

The DOH noted that online masses will be held through the Quiapo Church’s Facebook page.

For those planning to celebrate the religious event outside their homes, it asked the devotees to strictly observe health and safety measures such as ensuring proper ventilation in the place of gathering, observing one-meter physical distancing, wearing face mask and shield, keeping the visit short or not exceeding 15 minutes, regular hand washing or sanitizing, following other health protocols by the Church and local government units, and canceling travel plans if they present with any of the symptoms of Covid-19.

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