By Anthony S. Pagapulaan
PHOTO: Reuters
As the country's COVID-19 tally rises again with the Omicron variant adding into concerns, the Department of Health (DOH) said the Philippines is setting levels higher in the responses against the virus.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire said they are "more ready" as hospitals were already advised to prepare their facilities two weeks ago.

“Tayo ay nakapagbigay ng abiso two weeks prior to this week doon sa ating mga ospital that they should already be expanding their beds, stockpiling their medications,” Vergeire said in an online media forum, Monday, January 3.

“We are ready for this and kung anuman ‘yung naexperience natin noong tumaas yung kaso noong nag Delta variant, tayo ay mas handa na ngayon dahil ating naranasan na ‘yung ganun karaming mga nagpunta sa ospital at prepared na tayong lahat,” she added.

In addition, Vergeire confirmed that the Philippines is back again as high risk as transmission gradually increases, recording on Sunday the highest number since the last week of October last year.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 treatment czar Leopoldo Vega earlier stressed the nation's preparedness to battle the Omicron variant. He said on Monday that the Philippines is upon the "Omicron wave" as the cases continue to double.

“Our numbers have doubled and this is the start and we are very sure that this will peak. When it will press down and decelerate, we don’t know, but what is very important is that we are prepared for this Omicron virus,” he said.

Although the country is pressed by the increase of Omicron cases starting its first report on December 5, Vega said the Delta variant still dominates the record.

On Sunday, January 2, the Philippines listed over 4,000 COVID-19 infections.