Not just children: DOH says COVID-19 cases rising across all ages

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 9) — Amid worry that more children are getting infected with the COVID-19 virus, the Department of Health on Monday clarified that infections are increasing across all age groups.

It said cases among all age groups rose 59% in the July 29 to August 8 period compared to July 12-25.

DOH said the biggest jump was in the 30-39 age group, while the lowest increase was among those aged 80 and above. It did not give details on the increase in cases among children and teens.

"From less than 10 years old to more than 80 years old, pare-pareho ang trend, lahat ng age groups tumataas. It is not children lang ang tumataas, lahat ng age groups ay may angking pagtaas," Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a virtual media briefing. "Huwag natin alarmahin ang ating kababayan sa ganitong news. Natatakot ang mga magulang."

[Translation: Cases are increasing in all age groups, from less than 10 to over 80 years old. The younger age group is not the only one seeing an increase. Do not alarm the public with these types of news, it is just scaring the parents.]

CNN Philippines' analysis showed the number of infected kids aged nine and below has been increasing the past month — from around 1,600 cases in early July to over 2,600 last week.

The Philippine General Hospital on August 4 also said the children admitted in the COVID-referral hospital are getting sicker. But Vergeire said this trend was not observed in other hospitals in the country.

Children under 18 years old are still not included in the Philippines' national COVID-19 immunization program. But there is a plan to start vaccinating those aged 12 to 17 beginning late September.