Philippines: Metro Manila and adjacent areas showing decline in Covid-19 cases; 4,487 new cases confirmed on Tuesday (May 18)

A healthworker prepares to inoculate an elderly woman with Parkinson's disease with the Sinovac vaccine against the Covid-19 inside her home in Manila on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. R- Reuters

MANILA, May 18 (Xinhua): The Philippines' Department of Health (DOH) reported 4,487 new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the South-East Asian country to 1,154,388.

The death toll climbed to 19,372 after 110 more patients died from the viral disease, the DOH said.

DOH data also showed that 18,280 medical workers, primarily nurses and doctors, contracted the virus as of May 16.

The Philippines, which has about 110 million population, has tested nearly 12 million people since the outbreak in January 2020.

Carlito Galvez, the chief implementer of the national action plan to combat COVID-19, said the Philippines has administered more than 3 million doses of coronavirus vaccines. The Philippines aims to vaccinate up to 70 million this year.

Galvez said the Philippines plans to boost its vaccination drive as it expects a "steady" stream of COVID-19 vaccines in the coming months.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the inclusion of economic frontline workers, police and soldiers in the list of people that can avail of the vaccines.

Duterte also stressed the need to vaccinate those in the densely-populated poor communities in Metro Manila, the epicenter of the outbreak, to curb the spread of the virus.

The DOH said the number of cases in Metro Manila and its adjacent provinces has significantly dropped, but some regions are experiencing a spike in cases.

"Metro Manila and its four adjacent areas have shown marked decline in both case and health care utilization data," Alethea De Guzman of the DOH Epidemiology Bureau said in an online briefing.

However, De Guzman highlighted the need to closely monitor the areas in the central and southern Philippines that are showing an upward trend in cases. - Xinhua
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