On January 15, the Philippine Department of Health announced that the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus was spreading in the community in the capital Manila area, in the context of a record increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases in the third day. 3 in a row.
Speaking at an online press conference, Philippine Deputy Health Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the Omicron variant is spreading in communities in the Manila metropolitan area, an area of 16 cities with a population of more than 13 million. Ms. Vergeire warned that the number of new COVID-19 cases could peak between late January and mid-February.
According to the Philippine Department of Health, on January 15, the country recorded 39,004 new cases of COVID-19, the highest level ever. The number of cases being treated also increased to a record with 280,813 cases. The Philippines is currently the country with the second highest number of infections and deaths in Southeast Asia (after Indonesia), with more than 3.16 million cases and nearly 53,000 deaths.
* The situation of COVID-19 epidemic is also complicated in Japan when the number of new cases on January 15 exceeded 25,000 cases since August 26, 2021. Thus, to date, the country has recorded more than 1.83 million cases of COVID-19 and 18,423 deaths.
Recently, the number of new COVID-19 cases in many areas in Japan has reached record highs due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant. Notably, in Okinawa Prefecture – where most of the US military bases are located in Japan (70%), 1,829 new cases were recorded on January 15, the highest level ever. The governor of Okinawa Prefecture, Denny Tamaki, previously criticized the limitations in disease control work at US military bases that caused the Omicron variant to spread to local communities.
Japan recently tightened restrictions on COVID-19 prevention in three provinces where US military bases are located. Since November 2021, Japan has imposed a ban on entry for foreigners, but US troops are still allowed to enter the country on the condition that they undergo testing and isolation.