Taiwan extends COVID-19 Alert Level 3 until June 14

Marje Pelayo   •   May 26, 2021   •   486

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Schools as well as public and business venues will remain closed until June 14 amid a fresh surge of COVID-19 cases in the country.

Only essential service providers will be allowed to open, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced Wednesday (May 26).

The directive followed the extension of Alert Level 3 in the country’s COVID Four-Level Alert System as more and more domestic transmission is being reported.

Restaurants and other food businesses are expected to bear the brunt of the new restriction as they are forced to close for more weeks.

On Tuesday (May 25), the CECC recorded a total of 544 cases of COVID-19 infection including two imported cases.

Currently, Taiwan has administered around 311,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines.

In a post on Twitter, President Tsai Ing-Wen said more doses are expected to arrive in the country in the coming days.

Specifically, Taiwan is expecting around two million doses of COVID-19 vaccine next month while an additional 10 million doses are coming in August. MNP (with reports from Amiel Pascual)

DOH calls on public to remain vigilant despite dip in COVID-19 cases

Robie de Guzman   •   October 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday reminded the public to remain on alert despite the declining number of COVID-19 cases being recorded in the Philippines.

The DOH issued the reminder amid a dip in fresh coronavirus infections reported daily.

On Thursday, the country logged 10,019 new COVID-19 cases while the past few days saw over 9,000 new infections. The DOH earlier said that the lower case count was due to lower laboratory output.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the agency is analyzing all factors, including the decrease in laboratory outputs, and test outputs resulting in lower positivity rate and fewer hospital admissions, to determine whether the drop in case count is artificial or not.

“We got all the factors, we identified all the factors, and we tried to analyze kung talagang kumpirmado po that the decline of cases is not affected by any other factor at ito po ay totoong pagbaba ng kaso,” Vergeire said in a press briefing.

She, however, stressed that decreasing cases is not a sign for the public to become complacent.

“Alalahanin po natin na bagama’t bumababa ang mga kaso, ang atin pong mga ospital ay meron pa rin pong pagkapuno,” she said.

“Although, 68% lang ICU utilization natin ngayon, kailangan pa ring mapag-ingatan, patuloy na mapababa, at madecongest ang mga ospital so that we can be able to move on and open up some sectors again in our economy,” she added.

Vergeire also noted that the lower laboratory outputs are due to the use of antigen tests.

She also reminded the public that antigen test kits are only used in specific circumstances in order to get accurate results.

“Katulad po noong mga paggamit natin sa ngayon, kailangan din alalahanin natin ‘pag gumamit tayo, kailangan nari-report po natin sa mga kinauukulan para naisasama po natin at makumpleto natin ang datos natin,” she said.

“So if ever this will be given regulatory clearance by the Food and Drug Administration, ito po ay masasama doon sa modalities pero kailangan may guidelines po na ipapatupad so that we can also regulate the use,” she added.

The DOH earlier said that the use of antigen test is most effective for people who already manifested symptoms within the first five days of their onset as the viral load of the patient is at the highest during this time.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for COVID-19 response previously said that the number of individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 through rapid antigen tests will be included in the Philippines’ case count.

The task force also directed the DOH NCR Center for Health Development to monitor and facilitate registration of facilities using rapid antigen kits and ensure that antigen line tests are collected and consolidated from health facilities, localities, as well as temporary treatment and monitoring facilities.

PH posts 16,361 fresh COVID-19 cases; deaths breach 37K

Robie de Guzman   •   September 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines on Tuesday logged 16,361 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the nationwide tally of confirmed cases to 2,401,916.

In its bulletin, the Department of Health (DOH) said the latest tally pushed the country’s active cases to 171,142.

Of the active cases, 92.4 percent are mild, 2.69 percent are moderate, 2.8 percent are asymptomatic, 1.4 percent are severe, 0.6 percent are in critical condition.

Meanwhile, total recoveries rose to 2,193,700 after 21,974 more patients recovered from the viral disease.

Deaths related to COVID-19 climbed to 37,074 with 140 new fatalities.

The DOH noted in its report that all accredited testing laboratories were operational on Sept. 19 but four laboratories failed to submit data on time.

Philippines logs 18,937 new COVID-19 cases

Robie de Guzman   •   September 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines on Monday recorded 18,937 additional COVID-19 cases, bringing the total tally to 2,385,616.

The Department of Health (DOH) said the latest count pushed the country’s active cases to 176,850.

Of these cases, 92.7 percent are mild, 2.61 percent are moderate, 2.7 percent are asymptomatic, 1.4 percent are severe, and 0.6 percent are in critical condition.

Meanwhile, total recoveries climbed to 2,171,832 after 20,171 more patients survived the disease.

The death toll rose to 36,934 with 146 new fatalities.

The DOH noted that all accredited testing laboratories in the country were operational on Sept. 18 but five laboratories failed to submit data on time.

Out of the 72,770 tests reported on Sept. 18, around 26.3 percent have been found positive for COVID-19.

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