When we at the Morgan Magazine once again resumed activity two weeks ago, the Philippines was already in the middle of progressively relaxing the many restrictions on travel and outside activity that has been in place during the community quarantines of past months to defend against the COVID-19 pandemic. Our first report was on the increase of confirmed COVID cases as they have reached – and stayed – at the four-digit line every day. At the time, two Mondays ago, the total number of positive cases in the country was over 44,000. Now, that number has jumped by over 20,000 more patients.
CNN Philippines reports that yet again more than 2,000 Filipinos in a single day has caught the 2019 novel coronavirus or COVID-19 infection as of the latest report from the Department of Health (DOH) from July 19 at the beginning of the week. Said bulletin now notes that the total number of positive cases in the Philippines stands at 67,456 people. This number was reached with the latest addition of 2,241 more people confirmed infected by COVID, of which close to three-fourths (1,625) were recorded in Metro Manila. The remainder were registered in Laguna (115), Cavite (76) Rizal (75) and Cebu (55, the lowest yet).
The confirmed positive cases are a cause for concern in the National Capital Region (NCR), as one by one their medical facilities such as the East Avenue Medical Center are announcing full or rear-full occupancy of facilities (rooms, beds) set aside for COVID-19 patients. This shortage of accommodation is occurring even as those patients admitted are only the ones exhibiting severe and critical symptoms of the coronavirus. As the average COVID bed allotment for hospitals has been pegged by the DOH at 30% (East Avenue notes they have 20-25% of theirs occupied), the proposal of turning out non-COVID hospital patients with non-serious conditions to make more room has been floated.
In further COVID-19 update figures from this past Sunday, 398 more patients have recovered to join the survivor count of 22,465. New deaths from the infection numbered 58, added to the 1,831 total. Even then, 25 of the latest COVID fatalities have their passing recorded back in June, with 33 in this current month. Four of the dead hailed from one of each location: Metro Manila, Ilocos, Davao and Zamboanga, with the rest all dying in the still-embattled Cebu City. Only 43,160 of the 67,456 COVID-positives are active (still sick).
Johns Hopkins University adds that on a global scale, the COVID pandemic has affected 14.2 million people. Eight million of these have gotten better already while some 600,000 have succumbed.
Image courtesy of The Star