COVID-related disease now PH’s second killer

Published January 17, 2022, 5:35 PM

by Chino S. Leyco

COVID-19-associated deaths shoot up last year, ranking second in the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) tally of top three causes of demise in the country.

The PSA reported on Monday, Jan. 17, that the total deaths registered from January to October 2021 reached 604,329. Of that number, demises caused by COVID-19 accounted for 12.5 percent or 75,285.

Based on the PSA data, COVID-19 was categorized under two classifications.

The first PSA classification is “COVID-19 with virus identified.” These cases were deaths that occurred after a patient’s reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test turned positive.

According to the PSA, confirmed COVID-19 ranked third in the causes of death in the country with 51,514 cases or 8.5 percent share.

The second classification is “COVID-19 virus not identified.” Deaths falling under this category are suspected or probable cases, but not clinically-epidemiologically diagnosed COVID-19 patients.

PSA registered deaths under the “COVID-19 virus not identified” reached 23,771 or 3.9 percent of the total deaths at end-October. This is the 8th leading cause of demise.

Combining the two COVID-19 death classifications, the pandemic-associated deaths will be the second primary killer in the country.

Heart problems, or ischemic heart diseases, remained the leading cause of death in the Philippines with 110,332 cases (18.3 percent), followed by COVID-19.

On the other hand, stroke or cerebrovascular diseases came in third with 58,880 cases or 9.7 percent share.

The PSA data revealed that deaths related to COVID-19 skyrocketed by 195 percent from 25,519 registrations in the first 10-months of 2020.

Among the 17 regions, Metro Manila, the epicenter of the pandemic, registered the highest number of deaths due to coronavirus with 18,044, or 24 percent of the total COVID-19 deaths from January to October.

Region IV-A or CALABARZON ranked second with 16,630 deaths (22.1 percent), while Central Luzon came in third with 14,252 deaths (18.9 percent).

On the other hand, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) reported the least number of registered COVID-19 deaths with only 80 cases.

In Metro Manila, Quezon City reported the highest number of COVID-19-related deaths with 3,955, followed by the City of Manila and City of Pasig with 2,558 and 1,832 cases, respectively.

Data on causes of death released. By the PSA were obtained from the reports, either timely or belatedly, at the Office of the City or Municipal Civil Registrar throughout the country and subsequently submitted for encoding to the Office of the Civil Registrar General.

“Figures in this release, specifically for deaths due to Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), may differ from the one released by the Department of Health (DOH) because the figures in this release were obtained from the certificates of death particularly the descriptions written on the medical certificate portion therein as reviewed by the health officer of the local government unit concerned,” PSA said.

The figures released by the DOH were obtained through a surveillance system, the agency noted.