Philippines COVID cases break past one million

Coronavirus infections in the Philippines have breached the one-million mark as the country struggles to keep the virus outbreak at bay.

According to the Department of Health, the country saw 8,929 infections on Monday, bringing the total tally to 1,006,428.

However, some 914,952 cases of the total figure have recovered, of which 11,333 were recorded on Monday alone. The death toll, on the other hand, rose by 70 to 16,853.

With the rising cases, the Health chief Francisco Duque III said that the Philippine government should extend by one or two more weeks the second strictest lockdown imposed on Metro Manila and its nearby provinces such as Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, and Bulacan.

He said that this would ease the strain on healthcare capacity, with hospitals having been exceeding bed capacity.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said at a news briefing on the same day that the inter-agency task force would meet on Tuesday to discuss lockdown recommendations to President Rodrigo Duterte.

He said that the virus reproduction rate declined from 1 to 0.91 in recent weeks.

As of April 25, Roque said that 65 percent of intensive care unit (ICU) beds for coronavirus patients had been used.

Meanwhile, about 47 percent of isolation beds have been utilized while 53 percent of ward beds were occupied.

About 46 percent of ventilators for coronavirus patients had been used.

Roque said that about 72 percent of ICU beds in Metro Manila have been used while 58 percent of isolation beds and 66 percent of ward beds in the region were occupied.

Lastly, 61 percent of ventilators in the capital region had been used.

The country has begun its mass vaccination program early last month. It was expecting the delivery of about 15,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine from Russia.

Meanwhile, about half a million more doses of CoronaVac manufactured by Sinovac were expected to arrive the day after.

Photo by fernando zhiminaicela from Pixabay