The case fatality rate among Covid-19 cases has decreased despite a three-fold rise in cases, comparing data between this year and the start of the pandemic in 2020.
Data from the Department of Health (DOH) showed that the case fatality rate in 2021 was at 1.47 percent as compared to 2.47 percent in 2020.
The department recorded a total case count of 472,205 at the end of 2020 as compared to a total of 1,929,711 from January 1 to September 21 this year, which accounts for a 309 percent increase in cases in 2021 compared to 2020.
Among all the regions, the National Capital Region has the highest number of cases in 2021 and had the lowest case fatality rate at less than 1 percent.
“The decrease shown in the national case fatality rate was multifactorial. One of the factors that the department is considering is the overall improvement of the country’s health care system over the past year and its ability to cope with the higher demand for clinical assessment, referral, and management of cases,” DOH spokesperson Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a news release issued Wednesday.
“The Covid-19 vaccination program also played a role in the decrease. Vaccines continue to provide the promised protection against more severe Covid-19 and deaths. Moreover, this was the effect of the strategies and behavioral-change campaigns implemented as early as August 2020 to mitigate the risk of transmission and slow down the spread of Covid-19.”
The case fatality rate among senior citizens in 2021 was two times lower compared to 2020.
The health department said protecting the senior citizens should continue by increasing coverage to protect them from the severe form of Covid-19, leading to hospitalization and even death.
In a Facebook post Monday, infectious diseases expert Dr. Edsel Salvaña, also a member of the DOH Technical Advisory Group, said there is a definite trend in decreasing deaths, despite the highly transmissible and dominant Delta variant.
“Despite more than double the cases compared to last April, the deaths have NOT increased proportionally (we expected at least double the deaths in April because of the high cases) and are now paradoxically trending down,” he said.
Though there may be some delay in reporting the cases, Salvaña noted that the older data, which is more than four weeks to eight weeks, should only be minimally affected by delayed reports.
“Considering that Delta is supposed to be deadlier, the opposite is happening. This can only be due to the vaccines. Fingers crossed that things start getting better,” he said. “Let’s continue protecting each other and let’s get everyone vaccinated.”
Health authorities and the national government have been urging the public to get protected against severe Covid-19 by raising their sleeves to get life-saving shots and prevent hospitalization and even deaths.