DOH tells public: 'Maintain your family bubble' amid rising COVID-19 cases, variants threat

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 10)— The Department of Health again advised the public to avoid holding gatherings with persons outside of their home bubble — even those fully vaccinated — amid the continued threat of coronavirus variants.

"Maintain your family bubble. If you live in one house, that is okay... But if you are going to invite somebody else coming from another bubble, you have to think twice right now, because we know that the spread of these variants of concern is increasing," Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told CNN Philippines' News Night on Tuesday.

"And we know that even if you are fully vaccinated, you can still get infected," she added, stressing that inoculated individuals should still follow health protocols.

COVID-19 cases nationwide rose to 1,676,156 on Tuesday after the DOH reported 8,560 new infections. Of this number, 79,016 are active cases or people currently sick — the highest count since April 24.

Vergeire stressed the variants have become the "major factor" behind the recent spikes in cases, which also propelled the entire Philippines to the "high risk" classification for COVID-19.

To help curb the spread of the disease, Vergeire underscored the importance of vaccination, early case detection, prompt isolation, strengthened healthcare capacity, and the public's compliance to protocols.