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Philippines posts lowest active COVID cases in 17 months


THE DEPARTMENT of Health (DoH) on Sunday reported the lowest active coronavirus infections since June 7 last year at 16,630, as it logged 838 new cases.

The daily tally was the lowest since Dec. 28, according to data from the agency.

This brought the total to 2.83 million, it said in a bulletin. The death toll hit 48,361 after 156 more patients died, while recoveries increased by 1,217 to 2.77 million.

Of the active cases, 47.8% were mild, 7.1% did not show symptoms, 15.2% were severe, 23.36% were moderate and 6.5% were critical.

The agency said 13 duplicates had been removed from the tally, 12 of which were recoveries, while 117 recoveries were relisted as deaths.

It added that 195 patients were found to have tested negative and were removed from the tally. Of these, 192 were recoveries. Two laboratories did not operate on Nov. 26.

DoH It said 27% of intensive care units in the Philippines and in Metro Manila were occupied.

Meanwhile, more than 81 million coronavirus vaccines had been given out as of Nov. 27, with 35.55 million Filipinos having been fully vaccinated against the virus and 174,536 booster shots injected, according to data from an inter-agency task force.

On Nov. 26, more than a million vaccines were given out nationwide. Vaccine czar Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. said this showed that the government had made headway in its fight against the pandemic.

“We are determined to end this pandemic and bring back a greater sense of normalcy to the lives of our countrymen,” he said. “As we move closer to hitting our target of fully vaccinating 54 million Filipinos by the end of the year, I appeal to our local government units to continue ramping up their vaccination output.”

Mr. Galvez also noted that as of Nov. 27, the government had taken delivery of 141.6 million COVID-19 vaccine doses since February.

This included the 5.2 million doses of the vaccine made by AstraZeneca Plc under a global facility for equal access that arrived in three tranches last week.

About 1.2 million vaccines made by Pfizer, Inc. that the government bought also arrived last week.

Mr. Galvez said the government was ready for the first round of National Vaccination Days on Nov. 29 to Dec. 1.

A second leg will be held from Dec. 15 to 17 to increase the number of fully vaccinated Filipinos in time for the holidays.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte last week issued an order declaring the national vaccination days. He said workers won’t be marked absent as long as they can show proof that they got vaccinated that day.

DoH earlier said the country had injected 102,102 booster shots as of Nov. 2. It said 69,971 health workers and 21,139 seniors had received the top-up shots, while almost 11,000 seriously ill people got their third dose.

“All our regions have already started giving booster or additional doses,” Ms. Vergeire said.

The government last week started giving third doses to seniors and seriously ill people after almost half of its adult population got fully vaccinated.

The country seeks to vaccinate at least 50% of its adult population by yearend after managing to contain a spike in coronavirus cases triggered by a highly contagious Delta variant. — KATA

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