Mon. Jan 24th, 2022

By the Staff

MANILA — Cases in the country of the coronavirus soared Sunday to 18,086 as Metro Manila transitions to a more relaxed rules under general community quarantine after over two months of enhanced community quarantine.

The Department of Health tallied an additional 862 cases of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) that pushed national count of COVID-19 cases to 18,086.

Recoveries improved to 3,909 with the addition on Sunday afternoon of 101 more survivors of the disease even as seven (7) more patients succumbed and the number of fatalities increased to 957.

Less the number of survivors and fatalities for the day, the number of active cases in the Philippines now stands at 13,220.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, in his Talk to the People Address on May 28, placed the National Capital Region (NCR) under general community quarantine (GCQ) starting June 1.

The President likewise put Davao City, Region II, Region III, Region IVA, Pangasinan, and Albay under GCQ “until a review of the general situation.”

The rest of the country, President Duterte added, will be placed under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

Sunday’s tally marks the third day of DOH’s COVID-KAYA system of recording “fresh” and “late” cases or newly recorded cases versus cases that fell into clerical backlog due to delayed validation.

And under the new system, out of the 862 count of the day, 16 of the new cases are classified “fresh” while the remaining 846 are from backlog or late cases.

‘Slowed down’

Meanwhile, in a virtual presser, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire also reported that the case doubling time in Metro Manila has slowed down to 6.29 days.

“Kasalukuyan, ang ating case doubling time ay 6.29 days na para sa Metro Manila kumpara sa nakalipas na buwan na mga three to four days pa. Ibig sabihin, ang panahon na aabutin para magdoble ang positibong cases ay tumatagal na po ng halos isang lingo (Currently, our case doubling time is 6.29 days for Metro Manila compared to three to four days last month. It means, the time needed to double positive cases take almost one week),” she said.

Case doubling time or the period it takes for the number of cases to increase twofold is one of the indicators used by the government to determine the Covid-19 situation in an area. Included in these considerations is the critical care utilization rate.

DOH said the Philippines has 13,465 bed capacity for Covid-19 patients as of May 29, with only 35.2 percent of total ward beds, 34.7 percent of isolation beds, and 34.4 percent of ICU beds occupied.

On the other hand, only 18.5 percent of the 1,938 mechanical ventilators are in use.

In addition, there are 52,009 total beds in Local Isolation and General Treatment Areas for Covid-19 cases (Ligtas Covid centers) and 1,340 beds in Mega Ligtas Covid centers or quarantine facilities managed by the national government.

Aside from aggressive case validation efforts, the DOH will also hire 94,000 additional contact tracers.

Based on DOH projections, the Philippines needs to employ about 126,224 contact tracers to reach the standard 1:800 ratio.

Respiratory disease

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus that, according to unconfirmed reports, originated in China’s city of Wuhan in Hubei province in late 2019.

The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses named the novel coronavirus as SARS-CoV-2.

The virus causes mild symptoms such as fever and cough for most people but can cause serious illness such as pneumonia for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems.

Coronavirus is one in a family of viruses whose surfaces have a crown-like appearance or corona.

Hence, the viruses are named for the spikes on their surfaces.

Worldwide cases

Worldwide, the virus has already impacted 6,054,187 lives including 2,562,191 who recovered and 368,711 succumbed.      

Leading countries hard-hit by the virus include:

  1. United States – 1,805,745 cases; 390,404 recoveries; 105,159
  2. Brazil – 498,440; 200,892; 28,834
  3. Russia – 396,575; 167,469; 4,555
  4. United Kingdom – 272,826; no data; 38,376
  5. Spain – 239,228; 150,376; 27,125
  6. Italy – 232,664; 155,633; 33,340
  7. Germany – 183,294; 164,829; 8,600
  8. India – 182,143; 86,984; 5,164
  9. Turkey – 163,103; 126,984; 4,515
  10. Peru – 155,671; 66,447; 4,371
  11. France – 151,496; 68,268; 28,771
  12. Iran – 148,950; 116,827; 7,734 (ia/     

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