By Analou De Vera
The number of measles cases nationwide continues to increase, with more than 20,000 measles cases already recorded by the Department of Health (DOH) as of March 14.
Based on the latest report of the DOH-Epidemiology Bureau, it has already recorded 21,396 measles cases from January 1 to March 14.
The figure is higher than the 4,417 reported cases during the same period last year.
Deaths due to measles have already reached 315. During the same period last year, only 43 deaths were recorded.
The most number of cases were recorded in Calabarzon with 4,401 cases; followed by the National Capital Region (NCR) with 4,266; Central Luzon with 3,409; Western Visayas with 1,197; and Northern Mindanao with 1,059.
The region with the most number of deaths was recorded in Calabarzon with 87; followed by NCR with 85; and Central Luzon with 52.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III renewed his call to health workers to make measles vaccines more accessible.
“We have the capability. We have the manpower, the funds, and logistics. There should be no excuse,” he said.
“We need to collectively ensure and commit to bringing back herd immunity to 95 percent. Let’s be 10 steps ahead so we can prevent the spread of this vaccine-preventable disease,” the health chief added.