Philippines logs 588 severe, critical cases

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 16 2022 04:05 PM | Updated as of May 16 2022 04:21 PM

People line up for swab test at a COVID-19 testing facility at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila on January 4, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
People line up for swab test at a COVID-19 testing facility at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila on January 4, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippines' health department said Monday that 588 or 10.6 percent of COVID-19 patients in hospitals were in severe and critical condition.

The figure is lower than the previous week's 611 severe and critical patients who comprised 11.9 percent of COVID-19 hospital admissions at the time.

A total of 438 or 15.6 percent of 2,812 intensive care unit (ICU) beds for COVID-19 patients were occupied as of Sunday, according to the Department of Health's latest bulletin.

From May 9 to 15, the country recorded 1,118 new COVID-19 cases or an average of 160 per day, which is 0.3 percent lower than the cases reported from the previous week.

Of the additional infections during the week, 14 were severe and critical.

The number of new cases is the lowest logged in a single week in more than two years or since March 23-29, 2020 when the country logged 1,032 infections, according to the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group citing DOH data.

It is also the sixth straight week that cases logged weekly remained below 2,000, the research group said.

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During the past week, the DOH said it verified 16 more COVID-related fatalities, citing late encoding of death information. Twelve of those occurred this month.

It is the lowest weekly death toll in more than two years or since the week of March 16-22, 2020 when the DOH logged 13 deaths, the ABS-CBN IRG said.

Some 68 million or 76.29 percent of the eligible 90 million population in the country have been fully vaccinated against the respiratory disease, of whom 13.6 million have received their booster shots.

The DOH urged the public to get their booster shots as these prevent severe and critical diseases, citing as examples those who contracted the highly transmissible BA.2.12.1.

"We cannot be complacent at this point. Ang ibang bansa pumuputok ang mga kaso because of these sublineages," Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

(COVID cases in other countries increase due to these sublineages.)

The entry of new variants of concerns in Metro Manila might raise the number of hospital and intensive care unit admissions, the DOH earlier said. The BA.2.12.1 is not a variant of concern or a variant of interest yet, Vergeire said.