US gov’t vows support for PH in fight vs COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   March 17, 2020   •   2084

MANILA, Philippines – The United States (US) government has vowed assistance for the country’s Health department as it responds to the threat of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), its Embassy in the Philippines said on Tuesday.

In a statement, the US Embassy said the US government has committed more than P139 million ($2.7 million) to support the Department of Health (DOH) in the fight against the spread of coronavirus.

Through its US Agency for International Development (USAID), the US government said it will collaborate with Philippine authorities to establish and implement “internationally-recognized infectious disease threat prevention and response strategies, and enhance infection control”.

“US assistance will strengthen specimen transport systems and laboratory capacity to accurately and rapidly detect cases, ” the Embassy said.

The US government also promised to help protect health workers and patients by ensuring that hygiene products, masks, waste management supplies, and other necessary commodities are “available, delivered, and managed appropriately.”

“More broadly, the US government-supported programs will expand communities’ disease preparedness and access to water, sanitation, and hygiene services and commodities,” it said.

The Philippines has recorded 142 confirmed coronavirus cases with 12 deaths.

The US, on the other hand, has reported more than 1,600 infections with over 60 fatalities.

Worldwide, the virus, which originated from Wuhan, China, has infected 168,019 people and killed 6,610 in 148 countries according to the March 17 report in the World Health Organization coronavirus data dashboard.

Philippines posts 37,070 new COVID-19 cases; active tally at 290K

Robie de Guzman   •   January 17, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines on Monday logged 37,070 additional cases of COVID-19, the Department of Health (DOH) said, pushing the country’s total confirmed cases to 3,242,374 since the pandemic started.

Data released on Monday showed that about 36,001 of the new cases occurred between January 4 to January 17.

Most of the cases were recorded in Metro Manila, CALABARZON, and Central Luzon.

This is the sixth straight day that the country logged more than 30,000 new infections, and the fourth day that it announced record-high cases – 39,004 cases last Saturday, 37,207 on Friday, and 37,154 on Sunday.

The new tally brought the number of active infections to 290,938, the DOH said.

Of the newly reported cases, 9,187 were asymptomatic, 277,020 were mild, 2,947 were moderate, 1,480 were severe, and 304 were in critical condition.

The positivity rate was at 46% based on 77,410 tests administered on January 15.

The DOH reported 23 more fatalities, pushing the number of COVID-related deaths to 52,929.

There were 33,940 more recoveries, raising the total number to 2,898,507.

Twelve laboratories were not able to submit their data on time. These facilities contribute on average 5.1% of the samples tested and 5.1% of positive cases.

The utilization rate of intensive care units in use nationwide was at 49% while 58% in the National Capital Region (NCR).

Isolation beds being utilized across the country was at 47%, and 48% in NCR.

Ventilators in use in the capital region was at 22% and 30% in the capital region.

OCTA: COVID-19 growth rate in NCR slows down to -1%

Robie de Guzman   •   January 17, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The growth rate of COVID-19 is decreasing in Metro Manila, the OCTA Research group said on Monday.

OCTA Research fellow Dr. Guido David said the daily growth rate of the seven-day moving average in the region has slowed down to -1 percent.

“Base sa datos kahapon na may 15,959 cases ay bumaba ang daily growth rate to negative 1 percent from 2 percent. So ibig sabihin, naging negative na, mukhang pababa na ng kaunti,” David said in a televised public briefing.

“Pero again di pa tayo pwedeng mag-celebrate,” he added as he stressed the need to closely monitor the case trends in the coming weeks to see if figures are really declining in the NCR.

In a post on Twitter, David said that the growth rate over the past four days, in order, were 11%, 5%, 3%, and 2%.

The region’s COVID-19 reproduction number also went down to 2.67 from around 6.16 recorded last January 2. The rate refers to the number of people infected by one positive case.

While this trend is encouraging, and suggesting the possibility that cases in the NCR have peaked, David said that the possibility still remains that visibility of the situation in the region is clouded because of limitations in testing.

And though the peak may be nearing in the NCR and other nearby areas, David noted that there are many areas outside in the country that have shown an increase in COVID-19 cases.

“Actually, all over the country now, we’re starting to see an increase in cases, kaya makaka-affect ito sa sinasabi nating peak kung pinag-uusapan buong bansa,” he said. “Pero possible na sa NCR, tsaka Cavite, Bulacan, Rizal ay baka malapit na ang peak o nagpi-peak na tayo.”

David urged those in the provinces to get vaccinated or boosted against COVID-19 to protect themselves from hospitalization and severe form of the disease.

He also advised the public to continue adhering to public health protocols such as the proper wearing of face mask, social distancing, and refrain from unnecessary travel to help curb COVID-19 transmission. (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

COVID-19 among leading causes of death in PHL in 2021 – PSA

Robie de Guzman   •   January 17, 2022

The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is among the top three causes of death in the Philippines in 2021, according to data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Monday.

The PSA said that from January to October 2021, the leading causes of death in the country were ischaemic heart diseases, cerebrovascular diseases, and deaths due to COVID-19.

The agency said that during this period, ischaemic heart diseases were the top cause of death with 110,332 cases or 18.3 percent of the total deaths in the country.

“This indicated an increase of about 28.0 percent from the 86,164 deaths or 16.9 percent of the total deaths in the same period of 2020,” it added.

The second top cause of death is cerebrovascular diseases with 58,880 deaths (9.7% share of the total) during the said period.

The PSA said this is 10.9 percent higher than the 53,082 cases recorded in the same period in 2020.

Deaths due to COVID-19 with virus identified was ranked as the third leading cause which accounted for 51,514 deaths (8.5% share), rising from rank 15 with 7,357 deaths (1.4% share) in the same period of 2020.

The PSA, however, noted that it separated COVID-19 cases under two classifications — COVID-19 with virus identified and COVID-19 virus not identified. Both were included in the top 10 leading causes of death in the country.

Registered deaths due to COVID-19 with virus not identified accounted for 23,771 or 3.9 percent of the total deaths from January to October 2021, making it the 8th leading cause of death.

Registered deaths due to COVID-19 accounted for a total of 75,285 deaths or 12.5 percent of the total registered deaths from January to October 2021.

 

Figure 1. All Causes of Mortality (Top 20), Philippines, January to October, 2020 and 2021

The PSA said that the National Capital Region (NCR) registered the highest number of deaths due to COVID-19 with 18,044 or 24.0 percent of the total COVID-19 deaths from January to October 2021.

CALABARZON ranked second with 16,630 deaths or 22.1%, while Central Luzon came in third with 14,252 deaths (18.9%).

Figure 3. COVID-19 Deaths in NCR Jan to Oct 2021

Other top leading causes of death in the country are neoplasms or cancer with 48,937 recorded cases from January to October 2021, and diabetes mellitus with 38,584 cases, the PSA said.

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