Coronavirus cases in the Philippines breach 500,000
Arriving passengers wearing protective masks wait for their luggage at the international airport in Manila on February 3, 2020.
AFP/Ted Aljibe

Coronavirus cases in the Philippines breach 500,000

(Philstar.com) - January 17, 2021 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 4:17 p.m.) — The Department of Health on Sunday afternoon reported 1,895 new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases, bringing the number of total cases to 500,577.

Of the total, 24,691 are still classified as active cases, or patients who have neither recovered nor passed away and are recovering in hospitals or quarantine facilities.

DOH in its latest case bulletin also reported 11 new deaths, bringing the pathogen's death toll in the country to 9,895.

A total of 465,991 have so far recovered—good for a 93.1% recovery rate—after the DOH also added 5,868 recoveries in Sunday's update.

A total of 1,108 out of the 20,899 tests conducted according to DOH reports from Saturday noon tested positive, the department said, good for a 5.3% positivity rate.

Of these figures, around 91.1% were mild and asymptomatic cases, while 5.3% were critical while 3.0% were severe.

"Though much has changed in the pandemic, our responsibility to each other remains. The validity of our minimum public health standards against the spread of COVID-19 has been proving, and this is why we should intensify our observance of these with the new variant of COVID-19 now in the country," the DOH said in Filipino for its message of the day.

"Always remember the proper usage of face masks and face shields, our physical distancing, and washing and sanitizing hands often. Our safety hinges on following these rules," it also said.

Where most cases were reported

  • Davao City (GCQ): 107 cases
  • Quezon City (GCQ): 106 cases
  • Isabela (MGCQ): 65 cases
  • Pampanga (MGCQ): 63 cases
  • Bulacan (MGCQ): 62 cases

What's new today?

  • Malacañang announced Friday that the government extended for another two weeks the ban on foreign travelers coming from 32 countries, including the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and the United States. The United Arab Emirates, where the Philippines’ first case of the new COVID-19 variant traveled from prior to testing positive, is not included in the list.
  • Administration officials continue to defend the government's choice to purchase China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd. vaccine for its national inoculation program amid mounting concerns about the vaccine’s price and efficacy. 
  • Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said at a Senate probe Friday that the government can still opt out of its deal for Sinovac vaccines, which have recorded a 50.4% efficacy rate overseas, if it so chooses. 
  • According to the foreign affairs department, the Chinese government has also committed to donating 500,000 doses of vaccines for COVID-19 to the Philippines. 

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