DOH says PH case fatality rate remains below 2% global average

Published December 8, 2021, 9:50 AM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

The country’s case fatality rate (CFR) is currently at 1.61 percent and is below the global average of 2.0 percent.


The Department of Health (DOH) said this is as of Dec. 7.

In a statement, the Health department said this Philippine CFR was markedly lower than the 9% CFR reported in the Nikkei COVID-19 Recovery Index press release.

It added that after cases and deaths peaked in September 2021, both have continuously declined after, along with the monthly case fatality rates.

The DOH said in October 2021, there were 4,348 deaths and an October 2021 CFR of 1.84 percent and a slightly lower figure for November 2021 with 838 deaths and a November CFR of 1.81 percent.

It further noted that the Philippine CFR used in the Nikkei COVID-19 Recovery Index was the rolling-average CFR in Our World in Data (OWID).

“The 9% CFR calculated by the OWID was based on the number of reported deaths per day from Nov. 18 to 27, 2021. However, of the 2,096 deaths reported for that period, only 16 percent occurred in November, while 80 percent occurred between August to October. The high reported deaths in this latter part of November 2021 was due to delayed encoding, validation, and reporting of death information to COVIDKaya,” it said.

“The COVID-19 deaths have to be verified by local Epidemiology and Surveillance Units on the ground. We are aware of the delays in encoding of death information to COVIDKaya hence we are addressing this issue with the Epidemiology and Surveillance Units to ensure our COVID-19 data is up to date,” said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire.

The DOH said vaccination and improvements in the health care capacities and systems may have contributed to the decline of CFR.

“However, while overall COVID-19 deaths have markedly declined over the past months, our analysis of hospital admissions showed that 85 percent of those hospitalized were those who are not yet fully vaccinated. Also, those with severe or critical COVID-19 disease were 1.75 times more likely among the unvaccinated, while deaths due to COVID-19 were 2.6 times more likely also among the unvaccinated,” it said.

Vergeire said the vaccination program has helped lower the case fatality rate.

“Hence, the DOH continues to urge the high-risk population, especially senior citizens and those with underlying conditions, to get fully vaccinated to provide them with additional protection against COVID-19,” she said.