Tue. Sep 21st, 2021

MANILA (Second Update) – The total number of persons infected with the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) is now 10,004, with additional 320 new persons contracting the deadly disease.

In its case bulletin Wednesday, the Department of Health (DOH) also reported 98 new recoveries and 21 new deaths.

The total number of recovered cases nationwide is now 1,506 while the death toll has climbed to 658.

Out of the 320 new cases, the DOH said 179 cases or 56 percent came from the National Capital Region; 98 cases or 31 percent from Region 7 (Central Visayas) and the remaining 43 cases or 13 percent from other regions.

In a virtual press briefing, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said there are indications the country appears to be “flattening the curve”.

She noted that two indicators affect the flattening of the curve — the doubling time of the number of positive cases and the doubling of the number of deaths.

Doubling time refers to the period in which the number of cases or deaths doubles.

While the death toll continues to climb, the doubling time on the number of new cases and deaths is getting longer — now at seven days.

“Kung noon nakikita natin na dumodoble na ang bilang ng mga kaso at ng mga namamatay sa loob ng tatlong araw, ngayon nakikita natin na umaabot sa pitong araw bago dumoble ang ating mga numero (Before we see the number of cases and deaths double in three days, we now see a doubling time of seven days before our numbers double),” Vergeire said.

Vergeire attributed the slowing down of the cases to several mitigation measures.

For the past three months since March, quarantine protocols, physical and social distancing were imposed, giving authorities ample time to prepare and respond without becoming overwhelmed.

She said the national testing capacity was strengthened by setting up testing laboratories, patient care centers, and testing booths. The constant reminder of observing proper sanitation and hygiene, also helped.

But even if the current trend seems encouraging, epidemiologist Dr. John Wong said the flattening of the curve does not necessarily mean the pandemic is about to end.

“The pandemic will only stop when there’s already a vaccine. This is the second wave, because the first wave was in January, after flattening the curve, when we relax the ECQ we will see another surge of case, maybe a third wave. To prevent that third wave, we have to observe all the mitigation measures, physical distancing, handwashing, and frequent cleaning,” Wong said. (IA/PNA)

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