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Health department adds 2,227 virus cases, 175 deaths

PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS

PHILIPPINE health authorities reported 2,227 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, bringing the total to 2.83 million.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) death toll rose to 47,074 after 175 more patients died, while recoveries increased by 3,152 to 2.76 million, the Department of Health (DoH) said in a bulletin.

The agency said there were 21,101 active cases, 56.9% of which were mild, 4.4% were asymptomatic, 13% were severe, 20.30% were moderate, and 5.5% were critical.

It said 31% of intensive care units nationwide were occupied, while the rate for Metro Manila was 31%.

The Health department said 125 duplicates were removed from the tally, 107 of which were tagged as recoveries and four were reclassified as deaths.

DoH said 191 cases “were found to have tested negative and have been removed from the total case count.” Of these, 189 were tagged as recoveries.

Two laboratories failed to submit data on Nov. 19.

The Philippines on Sept. 16 started enforcing granular lockdowns with five alert levels in its capital region. It initially placed Metro Manila under Alert Level 4, the second highest level, until Sept. 30.

ALERT LEVELS
At the weekend, the presidential palace announced that an inter-agency task force had approved a plan to enforce the alert level system nationwide.

In a statement, acting Presidential Spokesman Karlo Alexei B. Nograle said Benguet, Abra, and Kalinga in the Cordillera region and Oriental Mindoro, Puerto Princesa, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan and Occidental Mindoro in Mimaropa will be placed under Alert Level 2.

Butuan City, Surigao del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Basilan, Cotabato City, Tawi-Tawi, Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao in southern Philippines will be placed under the same alert level.

Meanwhile, Apayao, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Dinagat Island and Sulu will be placed under Alert Level 3.

Metro Manila, which had an average of 379 new daily cases from Nov. 11 to 17, is currently under Alert Level 2.

A group of public health researchers earlier said the average daily cases in Metro Manila may decrease to 200 by the end of the month as its positivity rate was projected to hit 2% from 3% during the Nov. 10-16 period.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced that fully vaccinated clients will be exempted from securing an online appointment schedule at their head office in Intramuros, Manila.

Individuals who are able to present their vaccination cards or certifications showing that they are already fully vaccinated may be allowed entry to process their immigration-related documents without the need of prior booking through the online appointment system, Immigration Commissioner Jaime H. Morente said in a news release.

A fully-vaccinated individual is someone who has more than or equal to two weeks after having received the second dose in a two-dose vaccine, or more than or equal to two weeks after having received a single-dose vaccine, according to the bureau.

Unvaccinated clients or those who are unable to show proof of their vaccination would still be required to book through the BI’s e-services.immigration.gov.ph.

“This would allow us to provide services to more clients, while still ensuring that strict health protocols remain in place,” Mr. Morente said. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

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