MANILA, Philippines — The average number of daily COVID-19 cases in the National Capital Region (NCR) is now on the decline, according to the Department of Health (DOH).
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said stricter quarantine, among other factors, has contributed to the downtrend.
“Our average daily cases is at 9,936, the seven-day moving average, as of April 21. Compare this to last week’s average daily new cases, the seven-day moving average of 10,000 plus,” Vergeire disclosed at a virtual briefing yesterday.
She noted that the number of people testing positive for the infection is also on the decline compared to the past week.
“We can see the positivity rate is now lower than the 20.4 percent before. Now, we have an 18.3 percent positivity rate,” the health official pointed out.
She said they are hopeful that the decrease can be sustained in the coming weeks.
Aside from the imposition of stricter community quarantine, Vergeire said the improved tack of the national and local governments to detect, trace and treat COVID-19 cases led to the decline in cases.
She also cited improved compliance of the public with existing health protocols as one of the factors resulting in the drop in cases.
Vergeire said the DOH is still doing an assessment to determine whether the inaccessibility to medical care contributed to the high number of deaths.
The DOH logged yesterday additional 8,719 cases, bringing to 979,740 the total number of COVID cases nationwide.
It said 87.8 percent or 860,412 of the cases have recovered while 102,799 or 10.5 percent are still active.
With 159 new deaths, the number of COVID-related fatalities rose to 16,529. The figure accounts for 1.69 percent of total cases.
Despite reports on declining cases in the NCR, some patients at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) in Quezon City have to wait their turn to be attended to outside as the hospital remains overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases.
Photos provided by a hospital insider showed the disturbing conditions at the government-owned hospital where patients have no option but to wait outside as the hospital remains full.
In one photograph, several patients were seen sleeping on cardboard while hooked on dextrose, with others in wheelchairs.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the photographs were taken on Wednesday at around 5 p.m.
The source said the patients waiting outside were either positive for COVID-19 or awaiting the results of their swab tests.
Dr. Rose Marie Rosete-Liquete, NKTI executive director, said in an interview over dzBB that some of the people in the photos were actually relatives of the patients.
Liquete did not give figures but admitted the NKTI has been swamped with COVID-19 cases. She said there were instances when infected members of the same family had to occupy the same room.
The ideal setup would be one patient per room but Liquete stressed this could no longer be possible given the current situation.
She added that patients seeking dialysis treatment should first wait for their swab results before they are allowed inside the facility.
Many NKTI patients had been rejected by other hospitals.
Since January this year, Liquete said 254 of their health care workers have contacted COVID-19 while others have resigned for various reasons.
“End of year 2020, less than 500 were positive. Now, we’re not even in the second half of the year and there are now 254 cases,” she said.
The hospital also had to close three wards because many of the nurses were moved to the emergency room. “The families of many of our health workers tested positive for COVID,” she lamented. – Emmanuel Tupas
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