Residents line up to claim their Social Amelioration Program (SAP) cash assistance at the Barangay Hagdan Bato Itaas multi-purpose hall in Mandaluyong City on April 8, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) – The Philippines on Monday reported 7,255 new cases of COVID-19, raising the country’s total to 1,062,225, data from the Department of Health (DOH) showed.

The additional number of cases is the lowest in five days, or since April 28 when the DOH announced 6,895 new infections, the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group said.

Fifteen testing laboratories “were not able to submit their data” for Monday’s report, according to the DOH.

It said in its bulletin that the failure of laboratories to file their data last Saturday resulted in Monday’s relatively fewer additional cases.

The agency also said there were 9,214 newly recovered patients and 94 additional fatalities.

Total recoveries stood at 975,234, while the death toll climbed to 17,525.

The country has a total of 69,466 active cases, accounting for 6.5 percent of the cumulative total. 

According to the agency’s latest bulletin, out of 44,107 people who underwent testing for the disease on Saturday, 15.7 percent were found positive for COVID-19. 

Thirteen duplicates were removed from the country’s total recorded cases, 9 of which were found to be recoveries. 

A total of 51 cases initially tagged as recoveries were also reclassified as fatalities. 

The Philippines is beginning to see a downward trend in new cases, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online press conference.

While there were 368 reported cases on average daily from January 31 to February 6, there were 4,748 cases reported on average per day between April 4 and 17, she said.

The DOH did not provide the data for the average number of daily cases between February 7 and April 3.

Metro Manila and its neighboring provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal were placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) beginning March 29 amid the rapid increase in new COVID-19 cases.

The lockdown classification in the area was later lowered to modified ECQ, which will take effect until May 14.

As of April 18, the average number of new COVID-19 patients per day stood at 3,490, Vergeire said.

“Nakakakita tayo ng downward trend at pagluwag sa mga ospital, but these are not significant yet,” she said.

(We are seeing a downward trend and ease in hospitals, but these are not significant yet.)

The government began distributing Sputnik V vaccines to 7 inoculation sites in the capital region as the Philippines’ pushes to vaccinate some 70 million Filipinos by the end of the year. 

As of April 27, only 246,986 Filipinos or about 0.35 percent of the target have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, based on data from the ABS-CBN Research Group.

The Sputnik V vaccine from Russia’s Gamaleya Institute complements the supply of shots developed by Sinovac and AstraZeneca that are already available in the country. 

COVID-19 has killed at least 3.19 million people and infected over 152.2 million worldwide, about 17 months since it was first reported in Wuhan, China.

While India has recorded over 400,000 new COVID-19 cases on May 1, the United States is still the worst-hit country with over 32 million infections and over 571,000 deaths.

– with report from Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

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Originally Published Manila News-Intelligencer: 2021-05-03 16:32:00

Heart Castañeda

By Heart Castañeda

Birkbeck College, University of London is ranked joint 344th in the world this year and is the only one of these top universities in London that allows students to complete full-length degrees during evening courses, with all the visa and loan privileges of daytime study. Birkbeck is again located in the Bloomsbury area, close to UCL and SOAS and within walking distance of many central London attractions, and it schedules its programs with the aim of allowing students to complete a day’s work before attending class. Many students study part-time, taking advantage of the university’s flexible ethos, and are enrolled on a wide range of programs at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.