As cases decline and the economy rebounds, the country is “headed into the right direction” amid the global pandemic thanks to its effective coronavirus disease (COVID-19) strategy, a task force official leading the crisis response said Wednesday night, Nov. 10.
Assistant Secretary Wilben Mayor, head of National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 sub-task group on current operations, was elated that the vaccination program has contributed to the decline of the positivity rate to only 4.3 percent – the first time that it has happened since January 31.
The ideal situation is the benchmark of the World Health Organization (WHO) of five percent or lower for 14 consecutive days.
Meanwhile, he also cited National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua’s report that the economy grew by 7.1 percent in the third quarter of 2021, which is among the highest growths in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
“We have seen that our approach and response to the pandemic is correct. Although we are gradually easing [the restrictions], we can see that there are changes and we are headed into the right direction especially this Christmas,” Mayor said in Filipino.
Mayor led NTF officials in witnessing the arrival of 866,970 doses of Pfizer at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3.
The vaccine doses were part of the 1.7 million delivery of Pfizer this week. Another batch of 866,970 doses will arrive on Thursday night.
The recent delivery brought the total vaccine supply to 118,112,370 doses.
American manufacturer Pfizer-BioNTech has already transported 18,227,430 doses of its vaccines to the Philippines out of the 40 million doses that were ordered by the national government for 2021.
Meanwhile, around 14.8 million more Pfizer shots were donated to the country thru the COVAX facility.
Mayor urged those who have yet to be vaccinated to take the chance and get their shot now so that their Christmas in December will be a truly merry one.
“We encourage the public, especially those who are unvaccinated and in far-flung areas, to find ways and go to the cities to have themselves vaccinated so that our vaccination program will be continuous),” he said.
“We also appeal to our local government officials and all the implementing agencies to ramp up the vaccination program. Vaccination is the way to save the lives of the public and to sustain the opening of the economy,” he added.
As of Wednesday, a total of 35.6 million individuals have received their first dose while 30.1 million others have been fully vaccinated.