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  • Writer's pictureMelo Acuna

NCR tops in COVID-19 cases and fatalities

National Capital Region tops COVID-19 cases

MANILA – The World Health Organization today said there have been 491,258 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 458,172 recovered while 9,554 deaths were recorded.

In its Situation Report #68 released late Wednesday afternoon through the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), it was learned the most affected age group falls within the 20-29 years old with 29.2% and 30-39 years old comprising 23.7%. The report also revealed 54% of those afflicted were male.

The National Capital Region (NCR) contributed 43.7% of the total cases, followed by CALABARZON, another densely populated area with 18.2%, Central Visayas with 5.58% and Central Luzon with 6.7%.

“The largest increase in new cases came from the National Capital Region. However, most of the 9,554 fatalities were male (60%) with the most affected age group aged over 70 (35%) followed by the 60-69 years old, with 27.3%.

Speaking of fatalities, 40.7% of those who died were from the National Capital Region followed by Central Visayas with 14.8%, CALABARZON with 12% and Western Visayas contributing 6.4%. The largest increase in new deaths were recorded in the NCR.

Today, there are 154 laboratories using the RT-PCR have been accredited for COVID-19 testing and another 45 laboratories using GeneXpert.

The World Health Organization in Manila said they have taken note of the January 9,2021 event in Manila where an estimated 400,000 devotees of the Black Nazarene converged at the Basilica Minore of St. John the Baptist. Although no projections have been made, authorities are concerned of the possibility of the spread of COVID-19.

“We would like to explain that we have not yet detected the UK or any variant at all here in the country. Those are not true, and please, do not add to the fear of the public by issuing this kind of statement,” the DOH was quoted saying in its statement. The new variants can only be detected through genome sequencing, “which can only be carried out by the Philippine Genome Center, the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine and the University of the Philippines’ National Institutes of Health.”

The authorities, according to the WHO in Manila, have processed over 300 specimens for sequencing but have not given signs of any new variant. The local health authorities are sequencing results from the close contacts of the Filipina domestic helper in Hong Kong earlier diagnosed with the new variant which will be released this week.

The Philippines has been reported in the process to secure 90 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines within a fortnight, in addition to the 30 million doses of Covovax from the Serum Institute of India and 25 million doses of Sinovac vaccines. All these will complement the reported purchases by different local government units and private firms through tripartite agreements.

The national government, according to the WHO release, will secure 145 million vaccine doses within the month and hopes to inoculate up to 70 million Filipinos within 2021.

Some 50,000 doses from China’s Sinovac are expected to arrive first in the Philippines, “although vaccines from the US firm Pfizer could be rolled out earlier if COVAX facility would grant the Philippines’ appeal for 44 million free doses. COVAX is a global initiative chaired by the World Health organization with the vaccine alliance GAVI and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, to ensure equitable access to safe and effective coronavirus vaccines. (Melo M. Acuña)

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