FOR the third consecutive day, the Department of Health (DOH) reported over 200 mortalities from coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), pushing the death toll past 36,000.
The case fatality rate (CFR), however, retreated further to 1.56 percent as new cases continued to average 20,000 a day. The CFR is the proportion of people who died of Covid-19 among all those who contracted the disease.
DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the low CFR may be attributed to ongoing vaccination efforts, and upgrades in health and critical care capacity, referral system and clinical management.
In its case bulletin Thursday, September 16, 2021, the DOH reported 21,261 new infections, 277 additional deaths and 13,644 new recoveries.
The new cases brought the cumulative Covid-19 case count in the Philippines to 2,304,192. There were 80 duplicates, including 65 recoveries and one death, that were removed from the total.
Testing improved on September 14, a Tuesday, as a total of 74,149 were tested for Sars-CoV-2. Of this number, 27 percent yielded positive results.
Including the new recoveries, a total of 2,090,228 have now recovered from infection.
The number of active cases, however, increased again to 177,946, of which 0.6 percent were critical, 1.4 percent were severe, 2.65 percent were moderate, 86.1 percent were mild and 9.2 percent were asymptomatic.
The additional mortalities included 174 cases that were previously tagged as recoveries but were found to have died from Covid-19.
In the first two weeks of September, DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said Covid-19 deaths averaged 83 per day.
He told President Rodrigo Duterte during a Talk to the People meeting aired Thursday morning that 91 percent of provinces and cities in the country remained at high risk.
Of these areas, 82 percent also have high risk healthcare and intensive care unit (ICU) utilization rates.
Duque made an urgent call to augment health systems capacity, decongest hospitals, and ensure a strong triage and referral system in these areas to prevent deaths.
Meanwhile, the number of fully vaccinated individuals increased to 17,348,671 as of September 15, vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. reported to the President in the same meeting.
They comprise 22.49 percent of the vaccine eligible population and 15.74 percent of the total Philippine population.
The government has administered a total of 39,531,073 doses of Covid-19 vaccines, including 22,182,402 first dose inoculations, since the vaccination program was rolled out on March 1, 2021.
The Philippines has received a total of 57,547,610 doses of various Covid-19 vaccines, Galvez said. (Marites Villamor-Ilano / SunStar Philippines)