Philippines COVID-19 cases exceed 427,000, deaths now at 8,333
Commuters line up at a bus stop in Caloocan City to buy Beep cards on the first day of cashless transactions for carousel buses in EDSA busway last October 1, 2020.
The STAR/Michael Varcas

Philippines COVID-19 cases exceed 427,000, deaths now at 8,333

( - November 28, 2020 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines — Another 1,893 coronavirus infections were reported by the Department of Health on Saturday, bringing the national caseload to 427,797. 

Of the total number of cases, 31,402 are classified by the health department as active, which means these patients are still undergoing treatment or quarantine.

Another 474 individuals were reported to have survived the deadly virus, however, bringing the total recoveries to 388,062. 

However, 79 newly-recorded fatalities recorded brings the country's death toll to 8,333. 

The Philippines positivity rate currently stands 5.6%. This is based on the 27,748 people tested before 12 p.m. the day previous, 1,553 of whom tested positive.

The following areas posted the most number of cases per the health department's latest bulletin:

  • Davao City with 200 new cases
  • Negros Occidental with 123 more infections
  • Samar (Western Samar) with 84 new cases
  • Pampanga with 60 more infections
  • Quezon City with 57 new cases

Across the globe, coronavirus has afflicted nearly 61.54 million people, and killed 1.44 million.

The prospect of a vaccine

The Philippine government and private firms signed a supply agreement for AstraZeneca’s potential COVID-19 vaccine Friday, raising eyebrows all the while as some experts have cast doubt on its reported success rate.

Carlito Galvez, the former general assigned as the country’s vaccine czar, said the deal would be for two million doses. This deal is separate from the 20 million doses the government eyes to purchase from the British-Swedish drugmaker using public money.

AstraZeneca and its partner, the University of Oxford, previously announced that it was seeking regulatory approval for its inexpensive and easy-to-produce coronavirus vaccine after it showed a 70% efficacy rate on average.

That rate jumped to 90% when an initial half-dose then a full dose was given, similar to that in rival vaccines in development by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.

The government's goal is to vaccinate 60 to 70 million Filipinos against coronavirus in three to five years to achieve herd immunity. Some 35 million people were already identified as priority for inoculation.

It has been 268 days since parts of the country were first placed under lockdown but cases continue to be announced by the thousand each day.

Since then, the country has reckoned with an onslaught of typhoons which have brought additional fatalities and fears that the spread of coronavirus will intensify in shelters where physical distancing and the implementation of minimum health standards pose a challenge.

The latest of these typhoons, Ulysses, affected 4,421,580 individuals — over 1 million families — according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council's latest report on Nov. 27. Of these, 101,887 persons — over 25,000 families — are still spread out across 443 evacuation centers.

— Bella Perez-Rubio with reports from Gaea Katreena Cabico and Xave Gregorio

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