THE Department of Health yesterday said the fatality rate among individuals infected with the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country continues to go down and is now lower than the global average.
Epidemiologist Dr. John Wong, a member of the sub-technical working group on data analytics of Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) said the number of deaths from the infection has gone down compared to March and April.
“From a peak sometime in mid-April, deaths continue to go down. Until two days ago, we had two spikes. But even if you look at the past two days, there are fewer deaths,” Wong said in a virtual presser with Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.
“We continue to have a very low death rate,” he added.
The DOH yesterday reported 14 new deaths and 539 new cases, bringing the total number of infections to 25,930 and fatalities to 1,088. As to patients who have recovered from the disease, the DOH said there 248 more, or a total of 5,954 recoveries.
It was the third straight day that the number of deaths is at double digit anew.
On Friday, the DOH reported 16 new deaths out of 24,787 cases and on Saturday the deaths rose to 22 out of 25,392 cases. Prior to that, the death rates have gone down to single digit.
Wong said the 22 new deaths reported on Saturday were not recent deaths. He said these happened in several months and the delay in the reporting of deaths was due to the fact that the DOH has to validate information received from local government units.
He added there was also an improvement in the reporting of deaths from the previous 22-day delay to “seven-day delay” now in the reporting of deaths.
“Compared to the total number of cases, fewer cases are dying and that means we are saving more lives,” he said.
“With improved reporting efficiency by the COVIDKaya app, cases appear to be rising.
However, adjusted for late reports, deaths have actually been decreasing. Deaths have increased over the past two days although the median is still 10 per day. However, the recent increase has been due to late reports coming to the DOH,” he added.
COVID-19, which first emerged in China late last year, has spread to over 200 countries and territories. As of June 13, it has infected at least 7.55 million persons and killed some 423, 300 individuals, according to the World Health Organization.
Vergeire said the fatality rate in the country has decreased to 4.24 percent, way below the global average of 5.6 percent.
“Mula sa case fatality rate na 5.52 percent nung May 31 bumaba na ang case fatality rate natin sa 4.24 percent as of June 13 (From a case fatality rate of 5.52 percent as of May 31, it has decreased to 4.24 percent as of June 13),” she said.
She repeated Wong’s statement that the number of deaths has gone down compared to March and April.
“Ang porsiyento ng mga namamatay ng lahat na nagka-COVID ay mas mababa na sa global average (The percentage of those who died due to COVID is below the global average),” she added.
Vergeire said of the 22 deaths reported on June 13, only four or 18 percent died in the month of June, one each of the following dates June 3, 4, 6 and 9. The remaining 18 deaths occurred in the previous months but were only recently submitted to the DOH Epidemiology Bureau.
Vergeire also echoed Wong’s claim that the reporting from LGUs to the DOH of those who succumbed to the virus has also improved in recent days.
But Vergeire said this positive development could still be upended if the public would not strictly adhere to health and safety protocols. She appealed to the public not to let their guard down saying that the death rates could still go up in the coming days.
“Ang mga good news na ito ay naging posible dahil sa sakrispisyo ng bawat isa, lalo na sa pagpo-protekta sa ating mga nakakatanda at sa ating mga vulnerable population at sa mga LGUs natin na proactive na gumagalaw on the ground (This good news came because of the sacrifices of everyone, especially in protecting our elderly and vulnerable population and because of the LGUs which are proactive in doing their jobs on the ground),” Vergeire added.
The Department of Foreign Affairs reported that 22 more Filipinos overseas were infected with COVID-19, nine new deaths, and six more recoveries, bringing the total to 5,541 infections among Filipinos in 51 countries, and 409 fatalities, and 2,491 recoveries .
The Middle East/Africa still topped the regions with the highest number of Filipinos with COVID-19 with 3,422 cases followed by Europe and the Americas with 880 and 679 cases respectively.
The Asia and the Pacific region registered 560 cases.
In terms of fatalities, the Americas reported the highest number with 163 followed by the Middle East/Africa with 152 and Europe with 92.
The Asia and the Pacific region has reported only two Filipinos who died of the virus. -30-
BUCOR, DOJ PERSONNEL
The Bureau of Corrections said one of its personnel assigned at the Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm (SPPF) in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro has tested positive for COVID-19.
It is the first confirmed case of a BuCor worker infected with the virus outside of the Correctional Institute for Women (CIW) in Mandaluyong City, where the first COVID case among the bureau’s personnel was reported in April, and the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City.
BuCor said the infected worker is a 34-year-old female correction officer and detailed at SPPF Hospital and “presently asymptomatic.” She was among 88 uniformed and non-uniformed personnel at the SPPF who underwent COVID testing on June 6.
The entire SPPF was placed on lockdown starting Saturday.
Earlier, BuCor said 15 inmates from CIW and the Bilibid has died of the virus.
Aside from Bilibid, CIW and the SPPF, the BuCor operates similar penal colonies in San Ramon, Zamboanga city, Iwahig in Palawan, Davao del Norte, and Abuyog in Leyte.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said 68 employees tested positive for COVID-19 after undergoing rapid antibody testing.
“At the end of two days of rapid testing, 68 out of 536 employees or 12.7 percent of DOJ employees at the main office tested positive. If outsourced personnel — security and maintenance — are included, the total number of positives go up to 72,” Guevarra said in a text message when sought for an update on the testing at the DOJ main office in Manila.
Guevarra said the DOJ is waiting for results of the confirmatory swab tests.
The DOJ has more than 700 employees at its main office.
Earlier, Guevarra said those who initially tested positive were instructed not to report for work while they are waiting for the results of the swab test.