Philippines COVID-19 cases reach 409,574

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Philippines COVID-19 cases reach 409,574

MANILA, Philippines — Confirmed coronavirus cases nationwide soared to 409,574 with the addition of 1,738 cases yesterday, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

The DOH reported that 91.4 percent or 374,366 of the total confirmed COVID cases have recovered from the potentially deadly infection. The DOH recorded 45 additional recoveries yesterday.

Seven additional deaths brought to 7,839 the number of COVID-related fatalities. The figure represents 1.91 percent of total cases nationwide.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, however, said the country continues to post low number of COVID cases for the past days and the recent typhoons have not affected the operations of the laboratories conducting swab testing nationwide.

“We’ve seen nothing new in the trend. No sudden spike in the daily cases registered. We can see that the number of reporting laboratories are the same despite the threat of typhoon affecting their operations,” Vergeire said at a virtual briefing yesterday.

Active cases stand at 27,369, DOH said, 91.5 percent of which are mild and asymptomatic.

Davao City posted the biggest number of newly reported cases with 140, followed by Cavite with 117 and Rizal with 89. Laguna ranked fourth with 87 and Batangas fifth with 79.

Nine laboratories were unable to submit their data to the COVID-19 Data Repository System (CDRS) last Nov. 15.

In Cagayan Valley, Vergeire said there is only one laboratory offering COVID tests. “If the laboratory in Cagayan was affected, it will not have an impact on the output of the laboratories in totality,” Vergeire added.

While COVID is starting to wane, Vergeire urged the public, particularly the evacuees, to observe minimum health protocols to prevent a rise in cases as well as avoid other infections.

Meanwhile, the DOH partnered with Procter and Gamble Philippines in promoting healthy practices to prevent the spread of COVID and other infectious illness in Davao.

With the help of Procter and Gamble, DOH said the government was able to respond to the needs of 70,000 low income households by providing them hygiene kits.

Health Undersecretary Abdullah Dumama said prevention is part of the government’s national action plan to defeat the COVID pandemic.

Meanwhile, local governments under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) were ordered to follow health protocols in road clearing operations that commenced yesterday, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said authorities implementing the nationwide clearing program should be wearing face masks and shields, observe regular disinfection of their hands and social distancing.

According to DILG Memorandum Circular 2020-145, those areas under MGCQ are required to fully implement road clearing operations. The 60-day clearing operations began yesterday after eight months of being sidetracked due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and will not proceed for areas still flooded due to the recent onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses.

“Full implementation includes the removal of road and sidewalk obstructions, conduct of road inventories, physical removal of road obstructions without prejudice to the property rights of the affected stakeholders, crafting and implementation of displacement plans, rehabilitation and maintenance of cleared roads and creation of a grievance mechanism,” Año said.

For local governments under GCQ, a partial implementation would be observed, meaning that “it is limited to the actual or physical removal or abatement of road and sidewalk obstructions that are considered hazardous to motorists and pedestrians.”

“The partial implementation also includes road clearing to establish bicycle lanes,” the DILG added. – Neil Jayson Servallos

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