The Philippines has marked another grim milestone in its fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as confirmed cases already exceeded two million on Wednesday, Sept. 1.
The country has recorded 2,003,955 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began last year, based on the latest case update of the Department of Health (DOH). The DOH recorded 14,216 new cases on Wednesday.
It took 128 days for the country’s total tally to hit two million since the country hit the one-million mark last April 26, 2021.
Based on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) COVID-19 dashboard, the Philippines is on the 20th spot among countries with the high number of confirmed cases as of Aug. 30.
Seven percent or 140,949 of the total case count are active cases or those who are still receiving medical treatment. Of these cases, 96.1 percent have mild symptoms, 1.1 percent are asymptomatic, 0.6 percent are critical, 1.2 percent are severe, and 1.03 percent are in moderate condition.
Another 86 individuals have died due to COVID-19, putting the country’s death total to 33,533—-representing 1.67 percent of the total case count.
There were 18,754 more patients who were able to beat the viral disease, causing the recovery count to increase to 1,829,473 which is equivalent to 91.3 percent of the case total.
The latest case bulletin also showed that currently, 73 percent of the intensive care unit beds (ICU) dedicated for COVID-19 patients nationwide are occupied while 66 percent of the hospital isolation beds are being used.
Also, 71 percent of the ward beds for COVID-19 patients are being utilized and 55 percent of mechanical ventilators are also being used.
Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Edsel Salvana said that COVID-19 cases in the country are expected to still increase due to higher transmissibility of the Delta coronavirus variant.
“Expected naman na tataas ito kasi we know na yung (It is expected to go higher because the) R-naught of Delta variant is five to eight which make it two to three times more contagious than the original virus,” he said during the Malacanang press briefing on Wednesday.
The R-Naught or the reproduction number indicates the possible number of people being infected by a sick person.
“Kaya tayo nag lockdown nang maaga nung August is because we expected na tatama talaga itong tinatawag nga natin na (That’s why we implemented a strict lockdown in August because we expected it to really cause high number of cases– which is what we call) ‘tsunami of cases,’” said Salvana.
On Tuesday, Aug. 31, WHO Country Representative to the Philippines Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe said that Delta was now the dominant coronavirus variant in the country. Aside from Delta, other variants of concern detected in the Philippines include Alpha, Beta, and Gamma—which were all associated with increased transmissibility.
Abeyasinghe urged the public to strictly adhere to the minimum health protocols and get vaccinated in order for them to protect themselves against COVID-19.
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