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Another Covid-19 increase is possible as the holiday and election seasons approach.

Filipinos are being asked to maintain basic public health standards such as physical separation to avert another outbreak of coronavirus illness 2019 (Covid-19).

This is especially true when the holiday and election seasons approach, and people may feel more at ease exercising social isolation.

In a news conference on Wednesday, Metro Pacific Hospitals chief operating officer Jeffrey Staples said the country is “in the final stretch” of its fight against Covid-19 but has not yet reached the light at the end of the tunnel.

“I don’t believe we can relax our vigilance just yet.” With the holidays approaching, the election season approaching, and a lot of large meetings and individuals relaxing their social distance discipline, we expect to see another rise or two in cases before we can claim the virus is gone,” Staples said.

He went on to say that because of the virus’s nature, mutation into new strains could pose a future threat.

The positive rate is below 5%, according to the health department, which was the same at the end of January this year before the surges caused by Alpha and Delta types.

“If there’s one thing this virus has taught us, it’s not to let our guard down.” “We can see what’s occurring in other countries where they’ve reached a high vaccination rate, opened up their economies, eased social barriers, and now they’re seeing a large increase in cases,” Staples added.

Meanwhile, Metro Pacific Investment Corp. (MPIC) chair Manuel V. Pangilinan stated that the hospital industry has now eclipsed the toll roads and water industries in terms of revenue.

Metro Pacific Hospitals, which owns 18 hospitals, six provincial cancer radiation centers, two healthcare colleges, and one central laboratory around the country, is the parent corporation of MPIC.

An initial public offering (IPO) for Pangilinan’s hospital business may not be achievable until 2023, according to Pangilinan.

“Probably not in 2022, but there’s a chance it could happen in 2023.” Seeing the hospitals’ good recovery from last year’s bad performance; amazing turnaround this year,” he continued.

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