(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Monday, 01 March, 2021) Easterlies affecting Mindanao. Mindanao will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers due to Easterlies. Light to moderate winds from east to northeast with slight to moderate seas.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Government’s COVID-19 fight improving nationally — health chief

The country’s fight against COVID-19 is improving nationally although there are areas of concern at the local level, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a report on Monday.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III gives updates to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Arcadia Active Lifestyle Center in Matina, Davao City on February 15, 2021. JOEY DALUMPINES/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

“Ang ating mga pangunahing mensahe patungkol po sa ating COVID situationer. Una, sa pangkalahatan po, nakakakita pa rin po tayo ng pagbaba sa dami ng mga naitatalang kaso sa buong bansa ngunit may mga rehiyon tulad ng Region VII at CARAGA na nagpapakita ng patuloy na pagtaas,” Duque said in his report to President Rodrigo Duterte during a meeting in Davao City.

“Walong lungsod naman sa NCR ang nagpapakita rin ng pagtaas ng mga kaso,” he added.

Regionally, the healthcare utilization rate is on the safe zone, Duque said, noting, however, that in the provincial and city levels, some localities remain in moderate to critical risk level.

Duque also suggested the implementation of aggressive response strategies to contain the spread of the new COVID-19 variant in areas of concern.

As of Monday, there were an additional 1,685 new cases of COVID-19 infections, bringing the total number of cases to 550,860. Out of those cases, 27, 588 are currently in the hospitals or in isolation centers, Duque reported.

The country posted 11, 517 fatalities, which is 2.09 percent of the total confirmed cases. There are 26,043 active cases.

“Doon naman sa recoveries, Mr. President, ay mayroon tayong 511,755 who have recovered --- cases that have recovered and accounts for 93 percent, more or less,” he told the President. 

The DOH is coordinating with different regions to get true sample representation of coronavirus cases to effectively track areas with spiking infections particularly with regard to the new COVID-19 variant, which was already detected in the country, Duque said.

Among those conducting genomic sequencing are the Philippine Genome Center of the University of the Philippines (UP), National Institutes of Health, and Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).

So far, health experts haven’t come up with a conclusive finding, he added.  PND