The COVID-19 cases in the country on Saturday, Oct. 17, increased by 2,673 new infections, brining the total to 354,338, the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed.
Of the cumulative tally, 52,423 are active cases.
Most of the new cases are still in the National Capital Region with 740, followed by Calabarzon region with 689, and Central Luzon with 267.
The total number of recoveries stood at 295,312 with 539 new recoveries or patients cleared from the disease. Meanwhile,73 new fatalities were confirmed, bringing the death toll to 6,603.
Meanwhile, the government is currently negotiating with global partners to make a potential vaccine for COVID-19 affordable and accessible in the country, said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.
“What the government is doing right now, nakikipag-usap tayo sa iba’t ibang mekanismo, katulad nung sa COVAX facility kung saan mabibigyan tayo ng mas mababa na presyo because we will be subsidized as one of those countries na eligible for this [What the government is doing right now, we are talking with various mechanisms, like in the COVAX facility where we will be given a lower price because we will be subsidized as one of those countries that are eligible for this],” said Vergeire.
“Aside from that, we are talking with other manufacturers through bilateral partners para mas mapababa pa natin ang presyo, mas maging accessible sa Pilipinas ang mga ganitong klaseng bakuna [Aside from that, we are talking with other manufacturers through bilateral partners so that we can lower the price, make these types of vaccines more accessible in the Philippines],” she added.
With the absence of an effective vaccine and treatment against COVID-19 as of the moment, the Health official again reminded Filipinos to follow health protocols, especially that the government has now allowed people aged 15 to 65 years old to go out of their homes amid quarantine restrictions.
“Bagama’t pinapayagan na natin yung ganitong edad na lumabas gusto natin ipaalala yung minimum public health standards compliance pa rin ang makakapagprtekta sa ating lahat [Even though we are now allowing this certain age group to go out, we want to remind you to comply with the minimum public health standards as these will protect us (against COVID-19)],” said Vergeire.
“Kailangan laging vigilant, always cautious….Itong minimum health standards ang magsasalba sa atin [We must always be vigilant and cautious… The minimum health standards will help save us] and will ensure that we’ll be safe and not be infected by this virus,” she added.