Average daily infections decline by 30% — DoH

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THE PHILIPPINES posted 6,346 coronavirus infections in the past week, the Department of Health (DoH) said on Monday.

The daily average from Oct. 31 to Nov. 6 fell by 30% from a week earlier to 907 cases, according to a bulletin released by the agency. It verified 243 more deaths in the past week.

Of the total infections during the week, only two or 0.04% were severe and critical, it said. As of Sunday, 640 or 9.9% of total hospital admissions were severe and critical.

About 503 or a fifth of 2,437 intensive care unit beds for coronavirus patients were occupied, DoH said. About 74 million Filipinos had been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus as of Nov. 3, about 21 million of whom got their first booster shots, while more than 3 million got their second.

Meanwhile, the average daily coronavirus infections in Metro Manila dropped to 210 cases in the past week from 269 a week earlier, according to the OCTA Research Group.

“The numbers we are seeing in the seven-day average is good and with the decreasing number of cases, we’re hoping that we’ll have good holidays this year,” OCTA fellow Fredegusto P. David said in mixed English and Filipino at a televised briefing on Monday.

The virus reproduction number in the capital region had fallen to 0.68%, while healthcare use was below 30%, he added.

The daily average nationwide could fall to fewer than 500 cases by the end of the month, Mr. David said.

The Department of Health (DoH) on Sunday reported 1,010 coronavirus cases, 198 of which came from Metro Manila.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. scrapped the mask mandate indoors last month to keep up with the country’s regional neighbors and boost tourism.

He also approved a pandemic task force recommendation to ease quarantine rules for foreigners and Filipinos entering the country. In September, the president made face masks optional outdoors.

“I am confident that the downward trend will continue because our fellow Filipinos more or less know how to protect themselves from the virus, which allows us to keep our businesses and economy open,” Mr. David said. — J.V.D. Ordoñez