Add'l recoveries highest reported in a day
MANILA (UPDATE) — The Philippines on Sunday reported 10,098 more COVID-19 cases, pushing the country's cumulative total to 936,133.
The Department of Health also announced 72,607 additional recoveries, the highest reported in a day, according to the ABS-CBN Data Analytics Team, bringing the total number of people who have recuperated from the infectious disease to 779,084.
Active cases stood at 141,089, or 15.1 percent of the cumulative total, of which, 96.7 percent have mild symptoms, 1.7 percent are asymptomatic, 0.5 percent are in critical condition, 0.7 percent are severely ill, and 0.43 percent have moderate symptoms.
Edson Guido, head of the ABS-CBN Data Analytics Team, noted that the Philippines currently has the most active cases in Southeast Asia.
The DOH also recorded 150 new COVID-19-related deaths, raising the death toll to 15,960.
Seven testing laboratories failed to submit their data on time.
The health department earlier reported more cases of COVID-19 variant first detected in the Philippines, UK and South Africa as the country continued to battle a surge in infections in the Greater Manila area.
The agency, in a statement, said there were an additional 25 cases of the P.3 variant, which was first reported in the Philippines; 351 more cases of the B.1.351 or South African variant; and 266 more cases of the B.1.1.7 or UK variant.
Of the P.3 variant cases, 21 were local cases, 2 were returning Filipino migrant workers, and the remaining have yet to be verified. One patient has an active infection while the rest have recovered, the DOH said.
The P.3 is still not identified as a variant of concern due to "insufficient current data," it added.
As of April 13, the Philippines administered only over 1.2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses after more than a month of rollout.
This is still far from the target of 70 million by the end of the year, which the health department said is needed to reach herd immunity against the coronavirus.
GALVEZ URGES INT'L COMMUNITY TO ENSURE UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO VACCINES
The Philippines, meanwhile, urged the international community to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines amid shortage in global supply.
Speaking during the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Special Ministerial Meeting on Friday, National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez called for universal access to COVID-19 vaccines.
"The Philippines remains resolute in championing a policy of ensuring universal, fair, equitable, and timely access to COVID-19 vaccines as long-term solutions to building back better, amid the emergence of new variants and the global scarcity that has been challenging vaccine rollouts in some countries," Galvez said.
"The Philippines calls on the international community to reinforce our greater global solidarities and uphold our collective commitment; and to further intensify its cooperation to address COVID-19’s multidimensional challenges," he added.
Galvez also took a swipe at those who may be responsible for the supply shortage.
"Hoarding the limited vaccines does not serve anyone’s interests and only hurts everyone and the global response. Similar transgressions run contrary to solidarities reached multilaterally that emphasized the importance of collective action," he said.
To address the supply problem, Galvez said the Philippines is simultaneously negotiating with several vaccine makers in order to ensure a steady supply of COVID-19 vaccines.
Galvez earlier said the Philippines is expecting 1.5 million more COVID-19 shots before the end of the month.
Last week, government took delivery of 500,000 COVID-19 shots from Beijing-based Sinovac Biotech, he said.
Another batch of 500,000 Sinovac shots will arrive on April 22, and another 500,000 Sinovac jabs will be delivered on April 29, said Galvez.
Within the month, the Philippines will also get its first 500,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V developed by Russia, he said.