PH hits 1M COVID-19 cases

DISTANCING, PLEASE. Quezon City police officers and city government personnel man the waiting area for beneficiaries lining up to get food and other items from the community pantry set up by actress Angel Locsin for her 36th birthday in Barangay Holy Spirit, Quezon City on Friday, April 23. The Department of the Interior and Local Government has reminded community pantry organizers to coordinate with village officials to ensure compliance with health protocols during aid distribution. | PNA photo by Robert Oswald P. Alfiler

THE Philippines has now recorded over 1 million COVID-19 cases, becoming the second country in Southeast Asia to reach this grim milestone.

The Philippine Department of Health (DOH) on Monday, April 26, logged 8,929 new infections, bringing the official tally to 1,006,428 — of which 74,623 are active cases.

Of the active cases, 95.4% are mild, 1.4% are asymptomatic, 1.0% are critical,1.3% are severe, and 0.87% are moderate, according to the agency.

It also recorded 70 new fatalities, raising the death toll to 16,853.

Meanwhile, the number of recovered patients increased to 914,952, after the DOH recorded 11,333 new recoveries.

Malacañang, for its part, said the country reaching the 1 million COVID-19 milestone is not a “negative reflection” of the government’s pandemic response.

“I don’t think it is a negative reflection…We are managing still the new variants rather well,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

The spokesman also urged everyone to focus on the country’s tally of recoveries instead of overall infections.

“Huwag niyo po titignan lamang ang one million cases (Don’t just look at the one million cases),” said Roque.

“Unang-una, halos 900,000 na po ang gumaling diyan…Kung ikukumpara mo ito sa buong daigdig, bumaba na po ang ranking natin ibig sabihin mas humusay pa yung ating ranking sa buong mundo (First of all, around 900,000 have recovered…If you compare it to other countries, our ranking is much lower which means our ranking improved),” he added.

Roque also pointed out that the swelling of COVID-19 cases is not only happening to the Philippines.

“Itong paglobo po ng numero, hindi lang po Pilipinas ‘yan. Yung ranking natin na bumaba tayo patunay po na mas maraming kaso dun sa mga iba’t ibang mga bansa (This increase in numbers is not unique to the Philippines. But our lower ranking is proof that there are more cases in other countries),” he stressed.

The Philippines has gone down in the global rankings of COVID-19 infections, going from the previous 20th spot to the current 26th.

Vaccine supply

An initial batch of 15,000 vaccine doses from Russia’s Gamaleya Institute is set to arrive on Wednesday, April 28.

The second batch of 480,000 Sputnik V vaccine doses is expected to arrive on April 29, according to the National Task Force against COVID-19.

Meanwhile, about 8 million doses of Covaxin from India’s Bharat Biotech may arrive by the end of May.

“In summary we will have 8 million by the end of next month, that’s the Covaxin, (it’s) private sector and local government units-supported,” said Philippine Ambassador to India Ramon Bagatsing Jr.

The deal was procured through a tripartite agreement among Bharat Biotech, the local government units, and the private sector.

Last week, the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed India’s Bharat

Biotech has secured an emergency use authorization (EUA) for its vaccines.

Covaxin is administered in two doses, 14 days apart. Studies show that it has an efficacy rate of 80.6%.

Ritchel Mendiola
Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at ritchel.mendiola@asianjournalinc.com.

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