166 more patients beat Covid-19

The Department of Health (DOH) recorded 166 new recoveries from the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), bringing to 467,886 the total number of recoveries in the country.

The percentage rate of those who have recovered from the disease is 91.4 percent.

However, 1,797 new Covid-19 cases were also logged on Saturday, raising the total number of active cases to 33,603.

Meanwhile, the total number of fatalities due to Covid-19 reached 10,190 with 54 new deaths.

Among the cities and provinces in the country, the DOH said Davao City recorded the most number of Covid-19 cases with 151, followed by Quezon City with 90, Rizal with 80, Isabela with 64, and the province of Bulacan with 62.

Out of the active cases, 82.6 percent are considered mild cases, 11 percent are asymptomatic, 3.8 percent are critical, 2,2 percent are severe, and 0.41 percent are moderate.

Despite the increase of Covid-19 cases, the DOH assured that there is enough bed-capacity in the country to cater to Covid-19 patients.

It said 59 percent of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds are still available, isolation beds have 64 percent availability, 73 percent of ward beds are available, while ventilators have 78 percent availability.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, meanwhile, noted that responsible actions by the public can greatly help in the prevention of Covid-19 transmission and save lives.

In a virtual presser, he said the breach of minimum public health safety standards is the primary driver of virus infection.

“It is the little things that can stop the spread of disease–the proper wearing of a mask and face shield may be uncomfortable at times, but enduring a little discomfort can save lives,” Duque said. 

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DOH to seek halt on easing of age restrictions

The Department of Health (DOH) is planning to recommend to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to suspend the easing of age restrictions for people who can leave their homes amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

In a Laging Handa briefing on Saturday, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said three out of the 16 new cases of the B.1.1.7 SARS-Cov-2 (United Kingdom) variant of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) reported in the country on Friday night were aged 18 and below.

Sa ngayon na lumalabas na itong variant ay nandito, amin pong iniisip na baka sakali na makapagrekomenda tayo na maaari muna nating hindi ipagpatupad ito pong paglabas ng mga bata (With the new variant detected in the country, we are thinking of recommending to maybe suspend the easing of age requirement that will allow children to go out), so that we can prevent more infections,” Vergeire said.

However, she added that they will still heed the decision of the IATF-EID regarding the matter.

Vergeire, however, said the DOH gave a positive recommendation to the IATF decision to ease the age requirement that will be allowed to go out to help the country’s economy to recover.

She said DOH supports the IATF in its goal to balance health and the economy amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kung magdidesisyon man ang IATF na binabalanse natin ang ekonomiya natin at saka ang ating kalusugan, kailangan nating isipin na ang IATF naman ay may mga safeguards na pinapatupad, katulad nga po ng minimum public health standards (If the IATF decides to balance health and economy, we must be assured that they placed proper safeguards such as the minimum public health standards),” she said.

Vergeire said if only all people strictly comply with the imposed minimum public health safety standards, the spread of Covid-19 would be mitigated.

She, however, advised people to stay at home as much as possible in the wake of reports that the UK Covid-19 variant is more contagious.

She said they will discuss the issue in the next IATF meeting.

Vergeire called on parents and adults to ensure that children are protected whenever they would bring them in public places.

Kung wala naman ho tayo talagang kailangang ipaglabas o hindi naman kailangang talagang dalhin ang bata sa labas, iwasan na po muna natin ito sa ngayon, dahil nga po nakikita natin na medyo tumataas ang ating mga kaso (Let us avoid bringing children out of the house for now especially if we do not need to go out or bring them outside because as we can see, cases are going up) and the variants have been detected already in some parts of the country,” she said.

Beginning February 1, people aged 10 years to 65 years in areas under the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) can leave their homes for non-essential activities, such as going to malls. The possible easing of age restrictions in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) is up to the local governments. 

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