Death toll nears 10K mark

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    A DAY after reporting 2,163 cases, the Department of Health yesterday said there were 1,357 new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases while 69 more patients succumbed to the deadly virus, raising the total number of fatalities to 9,978, just 22 deaths short of breaching the grim mark of 10,000.

    Overall, the number of infections in the country rose to 504,084, with Davao City reporting 130 more cases, Rizal 71, Quezon City 66, Pampanga 54, and Benguet 52.

    There were 324 more recoveries, meaning the number of survivors now total 466,249.

    The DOH said there were 27,857 active cases, with 86.1 percent mild cases, 6.1 percent asymptomatic cases, 4.7 percent critical cases, 2.7 percent severe cases, and 0.42 percent moderate cases.

    Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba wants the provincial capital of Tuguegarao City to be placed under enhanced community quarantine for 10 days due to increasing number of COVID cases there.

    Mamba said his recommendation to the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases was based on the proposal of the Tuguegarao City government.

    “Community transmission is almost 40 percent of the cases,” he said. “I feel that 10 days is quite short but I am still praying that in 10 days of ECQ, they will have control of COVID cases.”

    The DOH said Cagayan has 1,961 COVID cases as of last Monday. Mamba said 236 or almost 65 percent of active 373 cases in the province come from Tuguegarao City.

    Mamba said the Cagayan Valley Medical Center is already “overwhelmed” in responding to COVID cases, adding private hospitals need to prepare to accommodate more COVID patients.

    Malacanang warned of a possible change in quarantine classification in the Cordillera Administrative Region if COVID infection and health care utilization rate in the region continues to rise after its health care utilization rate reached moderate risk level this week.

    Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the total bed utilization rate in CAR was recorded at 61 percent as of January 17, up from 49 percent a week ago, while it has used up 41 percent of its mechanical ventilators, up from 26 percent during the same period.

    Davao region (Region XI) had a 53 percent bed utilization rate as of January 17, a slight improvement from 58 percent on January 10, and a 39 percent mechanical ventilator use, up from 27 percent, while Eastern Visayas (Region VIII) had a 41 percent bed utilization rate 23 recent ventilator use, almost unchanged from the 41 percent bed use and 25 percent ventilator utilization. – With Victor Reyes and Jocelyn Montemayor