VERA FILES FACT CHECK: NO ‘new COVID-19 wave’ in Metro Manila

There is a new wave of COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila.

Facebook netizen (Brian Baker) 12/27/2023 False

Both the Department of Health and St. Luke’s Medical Center released advisories calling the information false and said it is not reflective of the current COVID-19 situation in Metro Manila.

A text message that warns of an alleged new wave of COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila is being shared on Facebook (FB) and private messaging platforms. This is not true. 

Attributed to Dr. Ruth Divinagracia of St. Luke’s Medical Center (SLMC), the message further claimed that the surge led to the hospital’s intensive care units (ICUs) for COVID-19 to reach full capacity. The message circulated during the holiday season. 

The text read: 


Dr. Ruth Divinagracia

Pulmonary & Critical Care Doctor

St. Luke Medical Center

Covid ICU in SLMC is now full.  Most of the cases are covid-induced bad commorbidities (sic). Big number of patients have been vaccinated but not boosted. We are anticipating the number to go up after the holidays. Suggesting to limit socializing, specially occasions where you will have to remove your masks. Still suggesting to use N95 and not KN95 masks. If you have families and friends with underlying commorbidities (sic), please let them know to be very careful and cautious as to the event/occasion that they are attending and mask removal. Thanks.”

This is false. Both the Department of Health (DOH) and SLMC have issued statements calling the message untrue.

According to the DOH and St. Luke’s Medical Center, the text about a new COVID-19 wave in Metro Manila is not true and does not reflect the current COVID-19 situation.

“There is no credible evidence or official announcement from health authorities supporting the assertion of a surge in COVID-19 cases at the mentioned hospital,” a part of DOH’s Jan. 4 advisory read. 

According to SLMC’s advisory posted on their official FB page, Divinagracia did not release any recent statement on the matter. 

SLMC added: “The statements currently circulating are false information that originated two years ago. It is important to note that these statements are not reflective of the current COVID-19 situation.”

Both the DOH and the SLMC urged the public to get updates from official sources and to refrain from spreading unverified information that may cause unnecessary panic.

The message has been circulating online as early as Dec. 22, 2022.

According to the DOH, the COVID-19 transmission was low during the holiday period. The health department logged 3,147 new cases from Dec. 26, 2023 to Jan. 1, 2024, averaging 446 cases daily. This average is 10% lower than the cases recorded from Dec. 19 to 25.


Have you seen any dubious claims, photos, memes, or online posts that you want us to verify? Fill out this reader request form or send it to VERA, the truth bot on Viber.

(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)