PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS

THE DEPARTMENT of Health (DoH) on Wednesday reported the lowest active coronavirus cases this year at 17,864 based on data from the Worldometer website.

It also added 890 coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 2.83 million. The death toll hit 47,682 after 200 more patients died, while recoveries increased by 1,710 to 2.76 million, it said in a bulletin.

Of the active cases, 53.4% were mild, 4.8% did not show symptoms, 14.4% were severe, 21.39% were moderate and 6% were critical.

Seventeen duplicates were removed from the tally, 15 of which were recoveries, while 33 positive patients were found to be negative. Nineteen of these were recoveries.

The agency said 179 recoveries had been reclassified as deaths. Three laboratories failed to submit data on Nov. 22.

It added that 31% of intensive care units in the Philippines were occupied, while the rate for Metro Manila was 29%.

The government on Wednesday took delivery of 700,000 more doses of the vaccine made by AstraZeneca Plc. Australia donated the latest shipment, the country’s pandemic task force said in a Facebook post.

On Tuesday night, President Rodrigo R. Duterte said unvaccinated people should be barred from restaurants and resorts “because they are a threat to public health.” “Our countrymen should understand this.”

The tough-talking leader also said he would support restaurants refusing to serve unvaccinated people.

“I support restaurants and all places where there is a risk of contamination of the public,” he said. “You have my support. Don’t let them eat.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Duterte on Wednesday signed a proclamation declaring Nov. 29, 30, and Dec. 1 as National COVID-19 Vaccination Days as the state tries to inoculate at least 15 million Filipinos.

Private and public workers who participate in the vaccination drive will not be considered absent from their work as long as they present proof of vaccination to their employers, according to the proclamation.

More businesses around the world have been prioritizing fully vaccinated job seekers and patrons.

Critics have said hiring based on an applicant’s vaccination status is highly discriminatory. Requiring people to get vaccinated may also lead to political divisions and tarnish the credibility of the government’s pandemic response, they added.

The Philippine government will require employees doing on-site work in high-risk areas to be fully vaccinated starting next month.

This will be enforced in areas with a stable supply of vaccines, according to the presidential palace.

A poll conducted by the Social Weather Stations from Sept. 27 to 30 found that 64% of adult Filipinos were now willing to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, up from 55% in June.

A bill seeking to make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory is pending at the House of Representatives.

Meanwhile, Mr. Duterte signed a proclamation declaring Nov. 29, Nov. 30, and Dec. 1 as national COVID-19 vaccination days to inoculate at least 15 million Filipinos.

Private and public workers who will participate in the three-day drive shall not be considered absent from their work as long as they present proof of vaccination to their employers, according to the proclamation. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza



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