The Department of Health (DOH) released Thursday the latest issue of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation update in the country.
Based on the latest report, as of May 19, 2020, the DOH has recorded a total of 9,262 active cases, with the majority of the COVID-19 patients exhibiting mild symptoms (8,286 or 89.5%).
Nearly 900 or 9.7 percent of these patients are currently asymptomatic, while severe (Pneumonia, difficulty in breathing), and critical (intubated) cases are less than a hundred.
The National Capital Region (NCR) remains at the top with a total of 8,414 (65%) confirmed cases, the highest in the country. The proportion of the cases in the region decreased from 72 percent since January (beginning of case detection) to April 19, 2020 to 60 percent for the period of April 20 to May 19, 2020. However, on May 5, NCR reported 143 new cases—the highest since April 11.
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Cases in Region 7, on the other hand, increased in proportion from two percent to 22 percent for a similar period. On May 4, various barangays in Cebu City reported 123 (51%) out of the 242 new cases nationwide. At present, Region 7 continues to be the second-highest region in the country, with a total of 1,781 (14%) COVID-19 cases.
Region 4-A has the third-highest cases with a total of 1,419 (11%) confirmed cases as of May 18, 2020. Since the beginning of case detection, the case proportion of the region decreased from 15 percent to six percent for the period of April 20 to May 19.
Meanwhile, DOH reported the average hospital length of stay for recovered patients is now at 17 days. A total of 450 or 54 percent of deaths had an existing medical condition, commonly patients with hypertension (62%) and diabetes (47%). Moreover, most of the confirmed cases in the country are male at 54 percent and within the 20-39 age group.
DOH highlighted that those with mild symptoms can be treated at home, with the exception of the elderly and the immunocompromised. Patients with mild symptoms may consult through telemedicine, while patients with severe symptoms must immediately contact local BHERT or the DOH hotline.
Testing laboratories in the country
As of May 18, the Health Department certified five medical facilities as Stage three laboratories. Four of these facilities are in NCR, including the Philippine Children’s Medical Center, Amang Rodriguez Memorial Center, Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center, Las Pinas General Hospital; and one from Region IV-A Rakkk Prophet Medical Center Inc. A total of 89 laboratories nationwide are now at stage 3 and above, and a total of 31 are licensed RT-PCR laboratories.
DOH underscores the importance of identifying and isolating close contact immediately to prevent further transmission of the virus. Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalog noted three key factors for a successful contact tracing:
- Quality of Information
- The capacity of contact tracing
The overall capacity to manage and admit COVID-19 patients in the country is still sufficient. According to the DOHDataCollect App, more than 50 percent of beds and mechanical ventilators in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), isolation, and COVID wards are currently available.
As of May 18, 168 health and quarantine facilities have requested additional healthcare workers under the DOH’s emergency program. So far, a total of 2,406 personnel have been hired, and 756 nurses have been redeployed under the Nurse Deployment Program in DOH and LGU hospitals catering to COVID-19 cases.
Furthermore, DOH has approved 6,225 slots for hiring in 135 hospitals and quarantine facilities managed by BOQ, Philippine Arena COVID-19 Facility, and Quezon Institute Temporary Quarantine Facility.
The health department reported a total of 2,315 infected healthcare workers as of May 19 in the country. Most of these cases are nurses, physicians, nursing assistants, medical technologists, radiologic technologists, as well as non-medical staff.
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According to the data by Johns Hopkins University, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is now around 5.1 million worldwide. The total number of deaths is around 332,000 while recovered patients are nearly reaching the 2 million mark.
The United States remains leading the most infected, with around 1.57 million, followed by Russia at 317,554 and Brazil at 310,087.
In Southeast Asian countries, Singapore continues to lead with 29,812 confirmed cases, followed by Indonesia at 20,162 and the Philippines at 13,434 (as of May 21).
The health department continues to urge the public to adopt the New Normal setting in their everyday lives. With or without pandemic, everyone should be mindful of their ways and behaviors towards improving health.
With this, minimum health standards in food and dining are encouraged. If possible, one must avoid long queues and opt for food delivery services instead.
—(Source: Department of Health)