COVID-19 infections top 294,000; death toll rises to 5,091


THE DEPARTMENT of Health (DoH) reported 2,833 coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infections on Wednesday, bringing the total to 294,591.

The death toll rose by 44 to 5,091 while recoveries increased by 765 to 231,373, it said in a bulletin. There were 58,127 active cases, 86.5% of which were mild, 9.2% did not show symptoms, 1.3% were severe, and 3% were critical.

Metro Manila reported the highest number of new cases with 1,222, followed by Cavite with 228, Negros Occidental with 206, Batangas with 143 and Bulacan with 141.

Metro Manila also had the highest number of new deaths with 23, followed by the Calabarzon region with six, Western Visayas with five, and Central Luzon and Zamboanga Peninsula with two each.

The Ilocos region, Central Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Davao region, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and Caraga region reported one death each. More than 3.2 million individuals have been tested for COVID-19, the agency said. The healthcare system is gradually improving as hospitals get decongested and capacity increases, DoH said at a separate briefing.

The critical care use rate in Metro Manila was at 58% as of Sept. 20, down from 67% at the start of the month, the agency said. The Calabarzon region was at 56%, while Bulacan was at 49%. Cebu was at 35%.

The country’s coronavirus death rate stood 1.72%, lower than 3.07% globally, while the infection rate was at 10.47%, higher than the World Health Organization’s (WHO) benchmark of less than 5%.

It takes 11.02 days for cases to double 15.79 days for deaths to double, DoH said.

Also on Wednesday, anti-coronavirus tsar Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. said the government would enforce the third phase of its anti-COVID-19 plan from October to December, when people might ignore restrictions on public gatherings.

“Our focus here is how to sustain our gains for the past six months,” he told an online news briefing.

The government will also seek to lower the cases to the “very minimum level” and bring the daily death toll to a single digit.

Mr. Galvez said the government would strictly enforce health protocols as quarantine protocols are further eased. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas

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