Ever since the COVID-19 virus swept across the world, people took whatever precautions and followed whatever protocols existed, while looking forward to when the pandemic finally blows over. The wait for such a time has been long and arduous. First the world waited for the vaccines. Then it waited for enough people to be immunized. The latter portion was made complicated by new COVID strains and the resurgence of new cases of infection, every time restrictions were loosened or holidays came and went. The Philippines has endured nearly two years of the above, but brighter days seem to be coming.

According to CNN Philippines, the Department of Health (DOH) has recorded the lowest positivity rate in COVID-19 and variant infections yet for this year. Based on results of 25,629 COVID tests reported done this past Valentine’s Day, February 14, the rate has gone down to 9.6%. Of the results, the new COVID cases numbered 2,610 with infection having occurred over the past 14 days (Feb. 3-16). As before, Luzon counted the top three locations with the most new cases, in order, Metro Manila (622), Calabarzon (323) and Central Luzon (287). Still, it must be reiterated that 9.6% is the lowest the positivity rate has decreased for 2022, especially after the Christmas-New Year period of celebration.

Of course, that matters rather little when compared to the current number of actively ill COVID patients across the country: 68.829 when adding the new positives as laid out in the DOH’s Wednesday bulletin. Removed from the last recorded count are 6,130 patients that have recovered from COVID, and 77 that have passed away. Furthermore, while all testing laboratories nationwide were active, six failed to submit data to the COVID-19 Document Repository System, and those would contain more test results over the same 14-day period.

And the lowest positivity rate may not matter soon enough, as the newest period of “necessary” mass public gatherings and close physical contact has already begun with the recent start of the Election campaign period. Despite new ground rules and restrictions laid down by the Commission on Elections regarding close proximity, physical contact and passing of food and drink, campaign activities which began February 8 have been much the same, with some candidates reporting being bruised by rough contact with supporters. Time will tell if the low positivity rate continues its hopeful trend, or if it will rise anew as the year 2022 goes on.

Image courtesy of ABS-CBN News