DoH reports 7,058 more infections to 1.22M

By Vann Marlo M. Villegas, Reporter

THE DEPARTMENT of Health (DoH) reported 7,058 coronavirus infections on Sunday, bringing the total to 1.22 million.

The death toll rose by 139 to 20,860, while recoveries increased by 6,852 to 1.15 million, it said in a bulletin.

There were 53,757 active cases, 1.4% of which were critical, 93.2% were mild, 2.3% did not show symptoms, 1.8% were severe and 1.28% were moderate.

It said 13 duplicates had been removed from the tally, eight of which were tagged as recoveries and one as death. Eighty recoveries were reclassified as deaths. Four laboratories failed to submit data on May 28, DoH said.

About 12.5 million Filipinos have been tested for the coronavirus as of May 28, according to DoH’s tracker website.

The coronavirus has sickened about 170.6 million and killed 3.5 million people worldwide, according to the Worldometers website, citing various sources including data from the World Health Organization.

About 152.6 million people have recovered, it said.

The Health agency on Saturday reported one more person infected with a more contagious variant from India, bringing the total to 13. The person was a returning migrant Filipino from the United Arab Emirates with an address in the Cordillera Administrative Region. The patient completed a 10-day isolation upon arrival and was discharged upon recovery.

DoH said 104 more people had been infected with a variant from the United Kingdom, 89 of which were local cases and 14 were still being verified, bringing the total to 1,071. Of the 104, five were active cases, three died and 96 recovered.

The Health department also said 137 more people had been infected with a variant from South Africa, 127 of which were local cases, one is a returning migrant, and the rest were still being verified.

This brought the total to 1,246. Of the 137, nine were still infected, five died and 123 recovered.

Four more people also got infected with a variant from the Philippines. Three were local cases and the other one was still being verified. They all have recovered. This brought the total to 162.

The agency said the variant first found in the Philippines is still a variant under investigation.

Meanwhile, the Philippines has given out more than five million coronavirus vaccine doses since starting its vaccination drive in March, according to the country’s vaccine czar.

Carlito Galvez, Jr. told the ABS-CBN News Teleradyo 5.12 million people had been inoculated against the coronavirus, 1.19 million of whom received two complete doses.

He said 93% of the country’s health workers or 1.4 million have been given the vaccine, adding that 664,000 got fully inoculated.

Me. Galvez said 1.37 million of the country’s nine million senior citizens and 1.15 million seriously ill people had also been vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The government has to give out half-a-million vaccine doses daily in Metro Manila, Metro Davao, Metro Cebu and six other urban areas to achieve herd immunity by Nov. 27, Mr. Galvez said.

At least 51.8 million vaccine doses are needed to vaccinate 70% of the population in these areas, or about 25.9 million adults, the OCTA Research Group said last week.

It would take 17 months to achieve herd immunity if 100,000 doses were given daily, eight months for 200,000 doses daily, and almost six months for 300,000 doses daily, OCTA research fellow Nicanor Pier Giorgio Austriaco told an online news briefing.

The government seeks to achieve herd immunity — when a majority of the population becomes immune from an infectious disease, either through vaccination or a previous infection, indirectly protecting those without immunization — by Nov. 27.

Also part of the priority areas aside from the capital region are Metro Cebu, Metro Davao and the provinces of Bulacan, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Pampanga and Rizal.

OCTA said prioritizing these areas for vaccination would “optimize the scarce vaccines to give the maximum impact.”

The Health department on Wednesday said it supports President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s order to prioritize Metro Manila and the eight other areas.

It said 67% of the vaccine supply is given out in Metro Manila, the Calabarzon region, Central Luzon, Central Visayas and the Davao region.