Covid cases now at 32,995; DOH expects steady rise of new infections
Covid cases in the country reached 32,295 on Wednesday and the Department of Health (DOH) warned infections will continue to soar in the coming days after restrictions were eased up and the economy was slowly reopened.
“Tataas ang kaso habang unti – unting binubuksan ang ekonomiya . [The cases will rise while we are slowly opening the economy],” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said adding that there are still cases that have yet to be reported.
Vergeire said that the government is also ramping up its testing capacity following the reopening economic activity.
Despite this, Vergeire said that many will still recover from this disease as based on their June 23 data showing that only 0.5 percent are severe cases, 0.1 percent are critical.
Vergeire also said that the national epidemic curve as of June 23 is increasing but gradually, meaning the current health system is not overwhelmed.
In the National Capital Region, she said, there is a stabilization in the rise of cases but the situation is different in Region 7, particularly in Cebu City.
She said that they are keeping an eye not only on Cebu City,where cases are increasing,
but also in Cebu province, Ormoc City, Southern Leyte, Leyte, and Samar
Since the government is ramping up its testing capacity, the positivity rate has decreased.
As of June 20, Vergeire said that 594,499 tests were already conducted. Of these,
86,191 were done this week.
Vergeire said that an average of 12, 348 tests were done in the past seven days. Of the tests conducted 37, 776 turned out positive which is equivalent to 6.9 percent positivity rate.
“Ito ay senyales na ang testing ay sapat at ang transmission ng virus ay nababawasan na din [This is a sign that the testing is enough and the transmission was reduced], ” Vergeire said.
When sought to explain further why the 37,776 positive results is not equal to the total number of confirmed cases, she said, “This is the difference between the confirmed positive cases and the lab results of unique individuals tested,where we get linelist from labs and process it thru our validation to remove duplicates,identify cases which have not been tagged as confirmed yet and identify those tagged in other labs.”
“May delays pa rin sa validation due to submission of labs,thats why hindi na nag approximate ang number of confirmed cases.with the positive individuals identified by labs,” she said.
Reproduction number or “R naught”
Vergeire said that as of June 7, the reproduction number (R0) is 1.07. She said that they are targeting to achieve R0 which is below 1.
“Sa pamamagitan ng ating minimum health standards, kabuuan strategy ng trace, isolate, test and treat ang hangad natin ay umabot ang reproduction number to less than 1 para mawala ang Covid-19 sa ating bansa [ Through our minimum health standards, whole strategy of trace, isolate, test and treat, our goal is a reproduction rate of less than one to totally eliminate Covid-19 in our country],” Vergeire said stresding that people should be very cautious especially that the economy was reopened.
The R0 of 1.07 is a good indicator that the disease’s transmission potential is slow.
The DOH official also noted the decrease in the number of persons who succumbed to the disease.
“And this is an encouraging sign, even the cases is increasing, our health system can handle it and few people are dying from Covid-19,” she said.
As of June 23, Vergeire said that the case fatality rate of the country is 3.73 percent which is lower lower than the global average of 5.22 percent while ASEAN average is 2.94 percent.
“This is a good indication that our healthcare system can manage and can give the needed medical attention of Covid -19 patients,” she added.
All the figures mentioned, she stressed, will give a “clearer picture of where we are in this battle against Covid-19.”
As of 4 p.m. of June 24, Vergerie said that 470 addional cases were reported.
The DOH reported the total number of Covid-19 cases at 32,295.
Of the additional cases 357 were detected as fresh cases while 113 were logged as late cases. Wednesday’s fresh cases are based on the daily accomplishment reports submitted by only 45 out of 59 current operational labs.
DOH also announced214 recoveries. This brings the total number of recoveries to 8,656.
Eighteen deaths were reported. The death toll stood at 1,204.
Of the 18 reported deaths, 14 (78 percent) occurred in June (June 04-17, 2020). The total cases reported may be subject to change as these numbers undergo constant cleaning and validation. — Source: Claudeth Mocon-Ciriaco / businessmirror.com.ph