Duque claims PH Covid cases starting to decline

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Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Wednesday said the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) are starting to decline.

In his report to President Rodrigo Duterte, Duque said looking at the epidemic curve, most of the infections came from the National Capital Region (NCR), Region 4A (Calabarzon) and Region 3 (Central Luzon).

He said as of April 28, of the total 1,020,495 confirmed cases, only 67,769 are active cases.

Almost half came from NCR with a total of 450,892 cases; and 27,891 active cases,” Duque said in Filipino.

In the past two weeks, the growth rate of cases in the country decreased by 3 percent from 50 percent, which was reported three to four weeks ago.

As for the average daily attack rate (ADAR), minimal improvement was recorded at 8.84 from 9.13 three to four weeks ago.

“Our two-week growth rate (TWGR) in the NCR has also improved currently at -15 percent. However, the region’s ADAR remains high at 31.01 cases every 100,000 population,” Duque said.

He said Regions 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula), 6 (Western Visayas), and 2 (Cagayan Valley) are being monitored because of their positive and high TWGR average daily attack rate per 100,000 population.

Duque noted that the decrease in cases resulted in the decrease of intensive care unit utilization rate in the NCR, from 84 percent last week to 69 percent this week, at moderate risk level.

In the past two weeks, the health systems capacity has improved overall with 635 additional modular hospital sites, temporary treatment and monitoring facilities, and other health facilities set up in public and private sectors.

Some 23,241 Covid-19 beds were also added in various healthcare facilities.

To further improve the country’s testing capacity, the government has procured 500,000 rapid antigen test kits distributed in the NCR Plus – Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal and Laguna.

Moreover, the government hired additional 14,668 healthcare professionals and workers deployed in the NCR Plus.

“They are properly compensated and the government has allotted P7 billion budget for this,” Duque said.

About 107 million sets of personal protective equipment have been distributed for the use of healthcare workers in the NCR Plus.

As for the Covid-19 vaccines, almost 2 million of the 3,525,600 doses of donated and procured jabs have been distributed to date. SOVEREIGNPH

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