Expecting an influx of international arrivals in the country in the coming weeks, the Department of Health (DOH) seeks to ensure implementation of strict border controls and close monitoring of Covid trends, including variants of interests (VOIs) and variants of concerns (VOCs).
Noting the Increasing cases seen across Europe and in North America, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said: “These countries have loosened restrictions and MPHS (minimum public health standards) requirements as early as June 2021 in lieu of high vaccination coverage.”
She noted that historically, “case increase in Asia and the Philippines occur a few months after peaks in Western countries.”
On Monday, the DOH logged 984 additional Covid-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 2,826,853. There were also 2,229 recoveries and 218 deaths.
Meanwhile, Vergeire said that the country’s case classification still at is low risk.
She noted that the national average daily cases further decreased by 28 percent in the recent week.
Average daily reported cases: November 15 – November 21: 1,436 (lower by 28 percent); November 8 – November 14: 1,986 (lower by 15 percent); November 1 – November 7: 2,340 (lower by 46 percent); October 25 – October 31: 4,359. New peak was recorded on September 6 – 12 with 20,946.
“All regions at minimal to low-risk case classification with health systems capacity at low to moderate risk,” Vergeire said.
Likewise, only 12 out of 121 (10 percent) areas were flagged under Alert Level 3 with moderate to high risk case classification while majority (89 percent) of areas are now under Alert Level 2 with minimal to low risk case classification.
The total Covid-19 beds capacity at low risk at 24 percent utilization. Compared to July, current dedicated beds are higher by 1,929 (5.5 percent) and admissions are lower by 7,050 (44 percent). The ICU beds utilization capacity is under low risk at 31 percent. Compared to July, current dedicated ICU beds are higher by 287 (8 percent) and ICU admissions are lower by 732 (39 percent).
As of November 21, there were a total of 3,143 total admissions and 862 or 15 percent are severe and 309 or 6 percent are critical.
Vergeire said that local government units and business establishments must also ensure proper implementation of minimum public health standards and Safety Seal Standards, especially in areas where 3Cs (closed spaces, crowded places and close contact settings) will most likely be present.
“These measures provide safeguards both to individuals, businesses and the community. Let us also encourage our unvaccinated family members, neighbors and co-workers to get vaccinated now that the Covid-19 vaccination program has expanded to the general population aged 12 and above,” Vergeire said.
“As more Filipinos get fully-vaccinated against Covid-19, we are opening up more opportunities towards safely reopening the economy,” she concluded.
The DOH on Monday said that 93.49 percent of those who died from Covid-19 were not fully vaccinated.
Vergeire also said that of the 216,074 total cases seen in the health facilities (March 1,2021 to November 14,2021), 86 percent of Covid-19 patients seen in the hospital are not fully vaccinated.
“Of these total [number of patients], 86 percent are not fully vaccinated. Meanwhile, about 94 percent are not fully vaccinated among those who died of Covid-19,” Vergeire said.
Vergeire said that among Covid-19 hospitalizations, majority were not fully vaccinated. Deaths and serious outcomes among admitted Covid-19 cases were most likely to happen in individuals not fully vaccinated.
Deaths , according to DOH showed several peaks in August to September.
“National deaths in November at 27 deaths per day; NCR (National Capital Region), CAR (Cordillera Administrative Region), and Regions 1, 3, and Calabarzon among the regions with highest deaths,” Vergeire said.
Based on hospital discharged Covid-19 patient data with 55 percent report submission rate, deaths and serious outcomes are more likely to happen among unvaccinated.
“Severe and critical symptoms are 1.75 times more likely to occur among unvaccinated compared to those fully vaccinated. Deaths are 2.6 times more likely to occur among unvaccinated compared to those fully vaccinated,” she said.
She added that analysis on these hospital data show that deaths and serious outcomes “are more likely to happen among the unvaccinated patients.”
With this, Vergeire stressed that vaccination will be the key to reduce the number of deaths.
It was noted on the presentation during the forum that the information presented is not considered official for the official report will be coming from the Food and Drug Administration.