After almost four months of inactivity, the Telegram of the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital for public updates about COVID-19 has returned amid the rise in coronavirus cases.
The channel, called UP PGH COVID-19 EIC, was created on March 13, 2020 to share daily updates about the COVID-19 census of the tertiary state-owned hospital.
Its description says that it is “the official UP-PGH COVID-19 channel for public updates and reminders, run by the Information Education Communication (IEC) Committee.”
The channel officially signed off last March 30, 2022.
During that period, the World Health Organization noted a continuous “decreasing trend” in the number of COVID-19 cases that were reported per day.
“Ngayong tila malapit na sa daungan, kami sa UP PGH COVID-19 EIC ay taos-pusong nagpapasalamat sa pagkakataong maging kasangga niyo sa labang ito,” the UP-PGH COVID-19 EIC channel said in a statement before.
“Nawa’y patuloy tayong maging mapagmatiyag at ligats. Kami ay mananatiling kaagapt ninyo sa pagharap sa isang bagong bukas nang mas matatag at mas nagkakaisa. Maraming salamat po!” it added.
By July 18, 2022, nearly four months after the channel’s inactivity, the PGH COVID-19 EIC was once again reactivated.
“Due to the current circumstances, the IEC channel will be releasing announcements from HICU for better dissemination of information. Uploading will be c/o HICU,” it said on a message.
HICU refers to Hospital Infection Control Unit.
The channel has so far uploaded infographics about the importance of COVID-19 boosters, COVID-19 statistics, its patients’ vaccine coverage and some health reminders for its community.
It has also uploaded criteria on who should be tested for the virus.
The country has been seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases attributed to people’s increased mobility, the waning immunity of vaccines and the overall presence of new and more infectious Omicron subvariants.
He also noted that the positivity rate for the week of July 10-16 was 11.8%, which he said was higher than the previous week’s record of 9.7%.
On the same day, the OCTA Research Group noted that five provinces have logged “very high” positivity rates of over 20%.
These are Aklan (31.9%), Laguna (22.5%), Nueva Ecija (22.9%), Pampanga (23.5%) and Tarlac (27.5%).
The positivity rate refers to the percentage of people with positive results for COVID-19 out of the total number of individuals tested at a given time.
The research group also confirmed last Saturday that cases in Metro Manila are rising and that infections were projected to peak within seven days.
In addition, Guido said that there has been an increase in the country’s health utilization rate, “although it remains at low risk.”
On Monday, DOH recorded a total of 14,640 new COVID-19 infections from July 11 to July 17, 2022. The new cases are around 44% higher than the infections reported last week.
A physician has underscored the need for boosters to “weather (the) COVID storm.”