MANILA - The Philippines' health department said Monday that 664 or 11.5 percent of COVID-19 patients in hospitals were in severe and critical condition.
The figure is lower than the previous week's 707 severe and critical patients who comprised 12.6 percent of COVID-19 hospital admissions at the time.
The Department of Health said 450 out of 2,842 intensive care unit (ICU) beds for coronavirus patients were occupied nationwide.
From April 11 to 17, the country recorded 1,674 new COVID-19 cases or an average of 239 per day, which is 12 percent lower than the cases reported from the previous week.
Of the additional infections during the week, one patient was classified as severe/critical.
During the past week, the DOH said it verified 200 more COVID-related fatalities, citing late encoding of death information. The deaths occurred in the following months:
- 51 in April 2022
- 21 in March 2022
- 35 in February 2022
- 36 in January 2022
- 1 in December 2021
- 5 in November 2021
- 12 in September 2021
- 14 in August 2021
- 2 in July 2021
- 3 in June 2021
- 2 in May 2021
- 8 in April 2021
- 6 in March 2021
- 3 in January 2021
- 1 in November 2020
Some 66 million people or 74.28 percent of the target population have been fully vaccinated against the respiratory disease, of whom 12.6 million have received their booster shots.
The government must focus on COVID-19 vaccination to avoid a likely surge as COVID-19 restrictions ease and the public's mobility increases, according to WHO representative Rajendra Yadav.
"We should not rely on number of cases to know whether we have too much COVID or not. Rather we need to focus on increasing our vaccination," he said in a televised press briefing.
The country should avoid reaching endemicity, Yadav added.
"Endemic is not a great picture because many diseases are endemic. Like tuberculosis is endemic and it kills millions of people. Rather we have to aim for sustained suppression of COVID-19 pandemic," he said.
"We have to have enough resources to manage any surges. We have to prevent deaths and suffering. We have to avoid it becoming endemic. Even malaria for example is endemic in some countries and it kills millions too."