President Duterte is elated that the country is “succeeding” in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak amid the reported downtrend in the number of infection cases.
In his televised public address Monday night, the President lauded the improvement in the government’s pandemic response and credited “everyone” for exerting their effort to address the health emergency.
“I am happy to note that there’s an improvement in all aspects of the fight against COVID so meaning to say, we are working, we are succeeding and everything is, everybody is putting his effort, sweat dito sa trabaho (in the job),” Duterte said.
The President made the latest pronouncement after Health Secretary Francisco Duque III reported about a general downtrend in the country’s coronavirus cases as well as low fatality rate in the country.
Duque, in his report to the President, has attributed the situation to the government’s prevention strategy as well as the cooperation of the public in observing health protocols.
As of October 19, the country has logged 359,169 cases with 310,303 recoveries and 6,675 deaths.
The government recently relaxed further the movement restrictions and further opened the economy to revive business activity and jobs following the crippling impact of the pandemic.
“Kung titingnan po natin dito sa slide na ito ang atin pong national epidemic curve patuloy pa rin po ang pagbaba ng ating mga kaso dahil po sa pagsasagawa ng ating Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treatand-Reintegrate strategies na nakapaloob po sa National Action Plan na inyo pong inaprubahan. Kasama na ang pag-obserba at pagsasagawa ng publiko sa atin pong minimum public health standards. Dagdag pa rito, nananatiling stable po ang ating growth rate (If you look at the slide on our national epidemic curve, our cases continue to drop because of our Prevent-DetectIsolate-Treat-and-Reintegrate strategies under the National Action Plan that you approved as well as the people’s observance of minimum public health standards. In addition, our growth rate is stable),” Duque said in the meeting with the President.
Of the total cases, Duque said the country has 42,191 active cases.
With more than 300,000 people who have recovered from the illness, he said the country’s recovery rate is now at 87 percent.
“Ang bilang ng mga namatay ay nasa 6,675. Ang ating pong case fatality rate ay nananatiling mababa at 1.9 percent (The number of deceased reached 6,675. Our case fatality rate remains low at 1.9 percent),” he said.
In the same meeting, Chief implementer of the national action plan against COVID-19 Carlito Galvez Jr. reported a decrease in the coronavirus cases in some areas, including Metro Manila, Calabarzon, and Central Luzon, citing the efforts made by the concerned local government units to curb the spread of the illness.
Galvez, however, also informed the President that there has been an increase in COVID cases in other parts of the country.
ECQ in Ilagan City
Galvez said among the areas with increasing COVID-19 infections were Baguio City in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR); and Ilagan City in Cagayan Valley (Region 2), which prompted Isabela Governor Rodolfo Albano III to place the area back to the stricter Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), from Modified ECQ.
The ECQ in Ilagan City took effect on Friday, October 16, and will last until October 30, according to the city government.
Ilagan City was upgraded to ECQ when a total of 331 new infections were recorded in 55 of its 91 barangays after it was placed under the MECQ from October 6 to 16.
As of Monday, Ilagan City recorded 18 new cases, bringing the total number to 1,156 – the highest in Region 2, data from the Department of Health (DOH) showed. It has 429 active cases, 718 recoveries, and nine deaths.
Meanwhile, Baguio City still has the most number of COVID-19 cases in CAR with 1,641 after it registered 34 new cases on Monday.
It has 584 active cases, 1,040 recoveries, and 17 deaths.
Despite this, the DOH said that the transmission rate in the country remained at 0.784 as of October 5, below the benchmark set by the World Trade Organization which is 1. P5.5 B for vaccines
Meanwhile, some P5.5 billion in the 2021 General Appropriations Bill (GAB) will be set aside for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines, House Ways and Means Committee chairman Albay Rep. Joey Salceda said Monday.
Salceda, in a virtual press briefing, said the allocation comes in the form of institutional amendments to the GAB of which a total of P20 billion was approved by the House small committee.
He said the vaccine allocation was the single biggest item among the budget amendments. “Actually it came from the Speaker (Lord Allan Velasco). May listahan siyang pina-consider sa amin pero hindi naman namin lahat sinunod (He gave us a list to consider but we didn’t follow all of it),” said Salceda.
He said the P5.5 billion will be added to the P2-billion fund for vaccines that solons set aside earlier. (With reports from Martin A. Sadongdong and Ellson A. Quismorio)