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500,000 more doses of CoronaVac arriving this week — Palace

THE PHILIPPINES will take delivery this week of about 500,000 more doses of CoronaVac made by China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd., according to the country’s vaccine czar.

The shipment that was paid for by the Philippine government would  arrive on Thursday, vaccine czar Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. told a televised news briefing on Tuesday.

The country would also receive about 4.5. million doses of CoronaVac next month and 10 million doses next quarter, he said.

Mr. Galvez said President Rodrigo R.Duterte had approved a recommendation by an inter-agency task force to open up the vaccination program to economic frontliners and the indigent population.

He said about 12.8 million people have been classified as economic frontliners and about 16 million people as poor.

Mr. Galvez said economic frontliners would be vaccinated using drugs bought by the government. Indigent people will receive shots from a global initiative for equal access.

More than 3.1 million doses of coronavirus vaccines have been given out as of May 17, he said.

Mr. Galvez also said the country would take delivery this month of about 2.2 million more doses of the vaccine made by Pfizer, Inc. under a global initiative for equal access.

He said about two million doses of the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca, Plc would arrive in June. About 250,000 doses of the shot made by Moderna, Inc. will also arrive soon.

He added that about two million doses of Sputnik V made by Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology would

The Department of Health (DoH) reported 4,487 coronavirus infections on Tuesday, bringing the total to 1.15 million.

The death toll rose by 110 to 19,372, while recoveries increased by 6,383 to 1.08 million, it said in a bulletin.

There were 52,291 active cases, 1.4% of which were critical, 93.3% were mild, 2% did not show symptoms, 2% were severe and 1.25% were moderate. 

It said 24 duplicates had been removed from the tally, 22 of which were tagged as recoveries and one as death. Sixty-four recoveries were reclassified as deaths. Eight laboratories failed to submit data on May 16.  

About 11.9 million Filipinos have been tested for the coronavirus as of May 16, according to DoH’s tracker website.

The coronavirus has sickened about 164.3 million and killed 3.4 million people worldwide, according to the Worldometers website, citing various sources including data from the World Health Organization.

About 143.1 million people have recovered, it said.

Meanwhile, the Health department said cases in Metro Manila and nearby provinces have gone down, but flagged an increase in the Visayas and Mindanao.

“There is a need for a thorough monitoring of the Visayas and Mindanao areas where we are seeing an increase,” Health Officer-in-Charge Director Alethea de Guzman told an online briefing in Filipino on Tuesday.

Average daily reported cases nationwide in the seven days to May 17 hit 5,886, lower than the peak of 10,406 from April 6 to 12, she said.

In Metro Manila, average daily reported cases in the past seven days reached 1,417, also lower than the peak of 5,325 from March 30 to April 5.

In the provinces of Bulacan, Laguna, Rizal and Cavite, cases in the past week hit 1,070, lower than the peak of 2,203 cases from April 6 to 12.

Ms. de Guzman said 10 regions reported an increase in the average daily attack rate — the ratio of new cases to the population — in the past two weeks.

These were Zamboanga, Western Visayas, Mimaropa, Caraga, Northern Mindanao, Soccsksargen, Bicol, Davao, Eastern Visayas and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Ms. de Guzman said they were monitoring the Zamboanga region, where the average daily attack rate was at 6.1, nearing seven which is considered high risk.

She also cited an increase in infections in the Visayas and Mindanao, particularly in highly urbanized areas where lockdowns were more relaxed. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza and Vann Marlo M. Villegas

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