Covid-19 cases decline further, but healthcare use remains high


NEW cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) continued to go down, falling below 13,000 Wednesday, September 29, 2021, as testing output continued to decrease.

Officials of the Department of Health (DOH), however, stopped short of saying transmission has slowed down as they noted that healthcare utilization remained high.

DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the public should not be complacent because healthcare and intensive care unit (ICU) utilization rates remain high.

There are still 94 areas across the country that are under alert level 4, which means their ICU utilization rate is more than 70 percent.

No areas are under alert level 1 while less than 10 areas are under alert level 2 and more than 20 areas are under alert level 3, Vergeire said.

"So, kaya nga gusto nating pag-aralan pa. Ayaw ho naming kumpirmahin, ayaw po naming ibigay na talagang sinasabi na bumababa na ang mga kaso. Although nakikita natin na talagang merong pagbaba, pero marami kasing factors na nakakaapekto. So we'd like to complete our analysis first before we give it to the public," she said.

"So, ngayon po, hindi pa namin masasabi na accurate na bumababa because of all these factors that we are observing," she added.

In its case bulletin Wednesday, DOH recorded 12,805 new cases, 186 additional deaths and 12,236 new recoveries.

The new cases, which are the lowest since the 12,751 cases on September 8, brought the cumulative case count to 2,535,732. There were 38 duplicates that were removed from the caseload.

There were 51,327 samples tested on September 27, lower than the 70,134 daily average testing output in the last seven days. The daily positivity rate was 22.9 percent. One laboratory failed to submit its data to the Covid-19 Document Repository System.

The additional deaths, which included 120 cases that were reclassified from recoveries, raised the Covid-19 death toll to 37,872.

Including the new recoveries, the total recoveries stood at 2,365,229.

There remained 132,339 active Covid-19 cases, of which 0.9 percent were critical, 2.1 percent were severe, 3.91 percent were moderate, 76.7 percent were mild and 16.4 percent were asymptomatic.

Nationwide, the ICU utilization rate was 74 percent. Isolation and ward beds were 63 percent and 67 percent occupied, respectively. More than half, or 53 percent, of the ventilators were in use.

In the National Capital Region, epicenter of the epidemic in the Philippines, ICU utilization is 75 percent while isolation and ward bed occupancy are 53 percent and 64 percent, respectively. Of the total ventilators, 56 percent are in use. (Marites Villamor-Ilano / SunStar Philippines)


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