DOH: New COVID-19 cases up 60% in past week

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DOH: New COVID-19 cases up 60% in past week
People queue for free packed meals distributed by Catholic religious order Society of the Divine Word (SVD) in Manila on June 24, 2022. - Local pollster Social Weather Stations said in a recent survey that more than three million Filipinos went hungry and did not have anything to eat at least once in the past three months.
AFP / Ted Aljibe

MANILA, Philippines — The number of new COVID-19 cases in the Philippines rose by 60% in the last seven days, the Department of Health said Monday

From June 27 to July 3, the country recorded 7,398 additional cases, or an average of 1,057 infections a day. This was a significant rise from 4,634 cases logged from June 20 to 26.

Of the new cases, 19 had severe and critical illness.

As of Sunday, there were 497 severe and critical admissions, which represent 8.4% of total COVID-19 patients in hospitals nationwide.

Despite the renewed increase in cases, the healthcare utilization rate in country remained low. Only 15.3% of the 2,487 beds in intensive care units were utilized. Meanwhile, only 19.9% of non-ICU beds were used.

The health department also reported that 74 fatalities were verified during the past week although none of those happened from June 20 to July 3.

Authorities said the presence of more transmissible Omicron subvariants, increased mobility, and the waning COVID-19 vaccine immunity of the public are fueling the rise in cases.

Still no DOH chief

The DOH said Monday that its senior career officials are leading the agency’s pandemic response and other operations while President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. decides on who to appoint to lead the department.

Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angles said the president is looking “very closely and carefully” at the candidates who will replace Francisco Duque III, former President Rodrigo Duterte’s health chief.

Over 70.78 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. However, only 15.14 million have gotten booster shots.

Since the start of pandemic in 2020, the Philippines has confirmed 3.7 million infections, with at least 60,000 deaths.

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