Visayas, Mindanao not neglected in COVID-19 vaccine deployment, Palace says

Robie de Guzman   •   June 15, 2021   •   267

MANILA, Philippines — The national government on Tuesday denied claims that it neglected the Visayas and Mindanao regions in the deployment of COVID-19 vaccine doses.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said there is no truth in the accusations of neglect because the government has been distributing vaccine shots to areas experiencing an uptick in COVID-19 cases.

“Hindi po totoo yan na ginipit natin ang ibang parte ng Pilipinas,” Roque said during a press briefing.

House Deputy Speaker and Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Representative Rufus Rodriguez earlier said the national government is taking its time in distributing the bulk of COVID-19 vaccine doses in Metro Manila despite their repeated request for additional supply.

But Roque said only 38 percent of the vaccine supply was allocated to Metro Manila and nearby areas and that the remaining supply is delivered to the rest of the Philippines “pursuant to equitable distribution as mandated by the President.”

“Hindi po totoo yan… Inuna lang natin yung una na pinakamataas ang numero pero ngayong tumataas po sa iba, nagpapadala rin tayo ng karagdagang bakuna sa mga lugar na yan,” he said.

The Palace official also said that available data shows that compliance with minimum health protocols went down in some areas in Visayas and Mindanao that are currently facing surges in COVID-19 infections.

“Ang pagkalat po ng sakit, hindi po yan dahil sa kawalan ng bakuna. ‘yan po ay dahil bumaba ang compliance with minimum health requirements,” he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday placed 21 areas under stricter modified enhanced community quarantine from June 16 to 30.

Metro Manila and Bulacan will stay under general community quarantine (GCQ) level with “some restrictions” while the provinces of Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal are under GCQ with “heightened restrictions” until the end of this month.

Other areas under GCQ from June 16 to June 30, 2021 are Baguio City, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Abra, and Benguet in the Cordillera Administrative Region; Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, and Quirino in Region 2; Batangas and Quezon in Region 4-A; Iligan City in Region 10; Davao del Norte in Region 11; General Santos City, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, Cotabato, and South Cotabato in Region 12; and Lanao del Sur and Cotabato City in BARMM.

PH posts 18,659 new COVID-19 infections

Robie de Guzman   •   September 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines on Friday logged 18,659 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the nationwide tally of confirmed cases to 2,453,328 since the pandemic began.

In its latest bulletin, the Department of Health said the new single-day tally brought the number of active cases to 175,324.

Of these cases, 88.1 percent are mild, 2.84 percent are moderate, 6.9 percent are asymptomatic, 1.5 percent are severe, and 0.7 percent are in critical condition.

The DOH said only one accredited testing laboratory failed to submit data on time.

Meanwhile, total recoveries rose to 2,240,599 after 9,088 more patients recuperated from the viral respiratory disease.

The death toll remained at 37,405 as no new fatalities were reported.

The DOH also reported a positivity rate of 24.2 percent out of the 76,624 tests conducted on Sept. 22.

Positive COVID-19 antigen test results now included in case count – IATF

Robie de Guzman   •   September 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The number of individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 through rapid antigen tests will now be included in the Philippines’ case count, Malacañang said Friday.

In a televised briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) reached the decision during their meeting on Thursday in an aim to improve the reporting of COVID-19 cases.

“’Yan po ang ating objective para mas maging mabuti yung picture natin kung ilan ang total cases natin,” Roque said.

He, however, clarified that these tests will be subjected to confirmatory tests.

The use of antigen test is mostly effective for people who already manifested symptoms within the first five days of their onset as the viral load of the patient is at the highest during this time.

In line with this, the IATF directed the Department of Health NCR Center for Health Development to monitor and facilitate registration of facilities using rapid antigen kits.

They must also ensure that antigen line tests are collected and consolidated from health facilities, localities, as well as temporary treatment and monitoring facilities.

“Kaugnay nito, ang Department of Health NCR Center for Health Development ay inatasang mag-facilitate ng registration ng facilities na gumagamit ng rapid antigen kits,” he said.

“Augmentation of disease surveillance surveillance staff and encoders are considered to ensure that line lists are generated and submitted on a daily basis,” he added.

As of Sept. 23, the Philippines has 165,780 active COVID-19 cases based on DOH data.

COVID-19 vaccines administered in PH now at 43 million – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   September 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines has so far administered a total of 43,088,582 COVID-19 doses since the vaccination program was rolled out in March, Malacañang said Friday.

During a televised briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that 23,416,857 people in the country have received their first shot while 19,671,725  are already fully vaccinated.

Roque said this is 25.50 percent of the country’s target population to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Philippine government is looking to inoculate up to 90 percent of the country’s population to achieve protection against coronavirus infections.

Roque also reported that in the National Capital Region, a total of 15,175,704 doses have been administered.

The figure is 69.93 percent of the total vaccination target in the capital region.

Of these vaccine jabs, 8,339,430 were given as first dose while 6,836,274 were administered as second doses, he added.

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