Philippine COVID infections doubled in past week — DoH 

DAILY coronavirus infections in the Philippines more than doubled to 1,352 in the past week from a week earlier, according to the Department of Health (DoH).

The country posted 9,465 coronavirus infections on May 1 to 7, the agency said in a report on Monday. There were 50 severe and critical cases, accounting for 0.53% of the total.

There were no reported deaths from April 24 to May 7.

DoH said 346 of 2,097 intensive care unit (ICU) beds had been used as of May 7, while 3,766 out of 17,758 non-ICU beds were occupied. 

There were 410 severe and critical admissions, it added.

The seven-day positivity rate in Metro Manila had risen to 22.7% as of May 6 from 17.2% a week earlier, OCTA Research fellow Fredegusto P. David tweeted on Sunday.

The infection rate was also high in the provinces of Camarines Sur in the Bicol region at 45.1%, followed by Rizal in southern Luzon at 38.8%, Isabela in northern Philippines at 25.9% and Cavite at 35.3%.

Laguna was also on the list with a 23.8% positivity rate, followed by Batangas with 23.2% and Bulacan with 20.1%.

On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said COVID-19 was no longer a global health emergency.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news briefing the pandemic ha been on a downward trend for more than a year.

“This trend has allowed most countries to return to life as we knew it before COVID-19,” he said. “Yesterday, the emergency committee met for the 15th time and recommended to me that I declare an end to the public health emergency of international concern. I have accepted that advice.”

The WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic on March 11, 2020.

DoH on Monday said an inter-agency task force leading the country’s COVID-19 pandemic response would convene “to discuss and reassess policies and guidelines,” including public health protocols.

It will also discuss the implications of the WHO announcement for the country’s COVID-19 vaccination program.

As of March 19, 78.44 million Filipinos had been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, the agency said. It added that 23.81 million people have received booster shots. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza