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Gov’t expects 16M vaccines to arrive this month

Residents of Las Piñas City got their second CoronaVac shot at a covered court in Barangay Almanza Uno on July 11. — NORMAN P. AQUINO

By Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza, Reporter

THE PHILIPPINES expects to boost its vaccination drive against the coronavirus as it tries to get 16 million coronavirus vaccines this month.

Total vaccine doses would have reached 33 million by the end of the month, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, who heads an inter-agency task force against the coronavirus, told ABS-CBN TeleRadyo on Sunday.

More than three million doses arrived in the Philippines in the past week, he added.

The Department of Health (DoH) reported 5,916 coronavirus infections on Sunday, bringing the total to 1.47 million.

The death toll rose to 25,921 after 105 more patients died, while recoveries increased by 6,127 to 1.39 million, it said in a bulletin. 

There were 49,701 active cases, 89.3% of which were classified as mild, 5% were asymptomatic, 2.4% were severe, 1.7% were moderate and 1.5% were critical.

The agency said 10 duplicates had been removed from the tally, six of which were tagged as recoveries. Fifty three recoveries were reclassified as deaths. Three laboratories failed to submit data on July 9.

Mr. Nograles said 20.6 million vaccine doses had arrived as of July 9 since the the first delivery from China in February.

Of the total, more than 10.4 million doses were bought by the government seven million were obtained under a global initiative for equal access, more than two million doses were donated and the rest were ordered by local governments and private companies.

The latest delivery was 37,800 doses of Sputnik V vaccines from Russia on Saturday. The government also took deliver of 132,200 doses the day before.

More than two million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine also arrived on Friday, while a million doses donated by Japan arrived on Thursday.

“We expect 16 million doses for the month of July alone,” Mr. Nograles said in mixed English and Filipino.

About 14 million doses are expected to arrive next month, he added.

The government has given out 12.4 million coronavirus vaccine doses as of July 7, 9.4 million of which were first doses..

The government is fast-tracking its vaccine rollout, with 70% of the capital region expected to get inoculated by November, Mr. Nograles said.

Meanwhile, researchers from the University of the Philippines on Sunday said the average daily tall nationwide fell by 5% in the past seven days to 5,243.

“The trends in the Philippines, National Capital Region and many of the ‘hot’ local government units are flat,” the OCTA Research Group said in a two-page report.

The coronavirus reproduction number for the capital region increased to 0.91 after remaining below 0.9 since April 21, it said. A reproduction number of 0.9 to 1.1 means there is no noticeable upward or downward trend.

Aside from Metro Manila, Davao City, Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, General Santos, Baguio City, Calamba and Santa Rosa showed no virus reproduction trend, the group said.

Davao City, Iloilo City, General Santos, Baguio City, Tagum and Santa Rosa were high-risk areas because either their average daily attack rates and intensive care unit occupancy were high or testing was low.

The capital region, Bacolod, Cebu City, Cagayan de Oro, Calamba and the Philippines as a whole were “moderate risk” areas, OCTA said.

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