Tue. Sep 22nd, 2020

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Coronavirus infections top 261,000, with Metro Manila having most new cases

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THE Department of Health (DoH) reported 3,372 coronavirus infections on Sunday, bringing the total to 261,216.

The death toll rose to 4,371 after 79 more patients died, while recoveries increased by 20,472 to 207,568, it said in a bulletin.

There were 49,277, 87.6% of which were mild, 8.8% did not show symptoms, 1.4% were severe and 2.2% were critical.

Of the new cases, 1,307 came from Metro Manila, 240 from Cavite, 207 from Laguna, 199 from Negros Occidental and 145 from Bulacan, the agency said.

Metro Manila had the highest number of reported deaths with 23, followed by Western Visayas with 17, Central Visayas with 12, the Calabarzon region with 10, Zamboanga Peninsula with four, Central Luzon with three and the Ilocos region with two. Two returning migrant Filipinos also died.

The Cagayan Valley, Northern Mindanao, Davao region, Mimaropa, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and Cordillera Administrative Region reported one death each, DoH said.

More than 2.8 million individuals have been tested for the disease, the agency said.

The Science and Technology department earlier said eight zones had been identified for COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials under the World Health Organization (WHO).

The areas were picked based on their transmission rate, he said, adding that there would be six zones in Metro Manila, one in the Calabarzon region and one in Cebu.

Seven foreign companies had signed confidentiality agreements with the Philippine government on COVID-19 vaccine trials.

One of the companies came from Russia, which will soon test the Sputnik 5 vaccine in the Philippines next month. Other companies mentioned were from the United States, China and Australia, he said.

DoH last week said coronavirus infections could surge in the coming days as laboratories play catch-up after it issued stricter rules on test result submissions, according to the agency.

The agency starting on Sept. 1 stopped accepting results without the complete address and phone number of the patient.

Because of this, there were confirmed cases that had not been reported and will come out once the information is complete.

The government earlier said it was looking at enforcing aggressive isolation measures and prohibiting home quarantine for coronavirus patients to bring down the infection rate further.

The government has been setting up more isolation centers for patients that don’t show symptoms and those with mild cases of the virus to contain the virus.

The government on Monday said local coronavirus infections have slowed, while the country’s healthcare system has improved.

The virus reproductive rate stood at 0.94 from four in March, meaning an infected patient can infect one more person, he said.

New cases peaked on Aug. 10 at 6,958 and gradually decreased to 2,592 on Sept. 5. There was also a downtrend in Metro Manila, the Calabarzon region and Central Visayas

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, the head of the national task force had said the Philippines was seeking to flatten the curve by the end of September.

In epidemiology, the idea of slowing a virus spread so that fewer people need to seek treatment at a time is known as flattening the curve.

The curve researchers are talking about refers to the projected number of people who will get infected over time.

The coronavirus has sickened 29 million and killed about 925,000 people worldwide, according to the Worldometers website, citing various sources including data from the World Health Organization (WHO).

About 21 million people have recovered from the disease, it said. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas

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