(UPDATED) After four days of daily cases exceeding 11,000, new coronavirus infections fell below 9,000 on Tuesday, April 13, 2021.
Deaths from coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) also fell below 200 for the first time in five days, but continued to top 100 and the case fatality rate remained steady at 1.73 percent.
In its case bulletin Tuesday, the Department of Health (DOH) reported 8,571 new infections that brought the cumulative death toll to 884,783.
Of the total, 165,534 or 18.7 percent were active cases in hospitals and isolation facilities.
There were 137 additional mortalities, lower than the 401 deaths on April 9 and the more than 200 daily toll on April 10 to 12.
There were 400 additional recoveries, bringing the total to 703,963.
The testing output remained below 30,000 for the second day in a row. The DOH case bulletin showed that only 27,900 samples were tested for Sars-CoV-2 as of noon of April 12, of which 18.3 percent came back positive.
The National Capital Region (NCR) continued to post the highest 14-day running total of new cases, with 59,036 as of April 12.
It was followed by Calabarzon with 22, 261, Central Luzon with 12,513, Cagayan Valley with 5,585 and Ilocos Region, which overtook Cordillera, with 3,323.
The health system in the NCR continues to reel from the surge in infections as 53 medical facilities were considered critical in terms of Covid-19 occupancy as of April 11.
There were 30 others that were at high risk, 12 at moderate risk and 59 in the safe zone.
The DOH tracker showed that roughly 86 percent, or 634 out of 737, of intensive care unit (ICU) beds in the NCR were occupied as of April 11.
Nearly 69 percent of the isolation beds and more than 57 percent of the ward beds were also occupied while over 58 percent of mechanical ventilators were in use.
In a statement, the DOH said a total of 3,436 beds were added or pledged in the NCR and neighboring provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal.
These consist of 164 ICU beds, 2,227 beds for moderate and severe cases, and 1,045 beds for mild and asymptomatic patients.
The DOH said it was working with local government units (LGUs) in setting up triage facilities near major hospitals to ensure efficient referral and transfer of patients, while private sector partners have committed to expand ICU capacities in select hospitals.
The DOH, National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 and LGUs are also working to institute the NCR+ integrated Covid-19 system to facilitate referral of mild cases to TTMFs, moderate cases to Level 1 and Level 2 hospitals, and severe or critical cases to Level 3 hospitals.
From April 12 to 16, five temporary treatment and monitoring facilities (TTMFs) are scheduled to be commissioned. The TTMFs provide care to mild, asymptomatic and recovering Covid-19 patients.
These are the Subic Manila Times College (300 beds), New Clark City (165 beds), Eva Macapagal (200 beds), Orion Bataan (100 beds) and National Center for Mental Health (1,000 beds).
Isolation facilities constructed in partnership with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and other private groups will also be opened and managed by LGUs.
Additional beds are also being put up in the following: Oplan Kalinga, 280 beds for healthcare workers; National Kidney and Transplant Institute, 20 beds; and Lung Center of the Philippines modular hospital, 88 beds.
The Quezon Institute recently opened 110 beds at its modular hospital.
The DOH recently deployed 136 healthcare workers (HCWs) from Visayas and Mindanao to augment the workforce in the different medical facilities in Metro Manila. (Marites Villamor-Ilano / SunStar Philippines)