New COVID-19 cases in the country could fall below the 10,000 mark daily starting today as hospital utilization for persons sick with the coronavirus is also going down to about 57 percent, the OCTA Research Group said Tuesday.
This dovetailed with the Department of Health report that the Philippines logged on Tuesday 9,055 new cases of COVID-19 -- the lowest number of daily infections recorded since August 10.
Meanwhile, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the government is eyeing to borrow around P45.3 billion ($900 million) from multilateral agencies to fund the purchase of booster shots against the COVID-19 virus.
“The National Task Force, DOH and DoF have initially identified multilateral and bilateral financial institutions as possible sources of funding for this allocation,” Dominguez said, noting the amount was in the 2022 National Expenditure Program.
As of end- August 2021, government data showed that foreign financing to fund its COVID-19 response efforts already hit $22.51 billion (more than P1.1 trillion).
The latest daily number brought total infections since the pandemic began to 2,613,070, with 103,077 active cases, also the lowest figure since August 15.
The reproduction number in the National Capital Region has gone down to 0.76, as the area has averaged 2,942 new cases a day, OCTA fellow Guido David said.
However, David cautioned that intensive care unit (ICU) beds across the country continued to have a high use rate, even as usage of hospital beds overall has gone down.
The DOH reported that nationwide, 72 percent of ICU beds, 59 percent of isolation beds, 62 percent of ward beds, and 54 percent of ventilators were in use.
In other developments:
• The Philippines will receive the Chinese made tocilizumab manufactured by Livzon this week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Tuesday.
• An all organic product made of virgin coconut oil and lagundi that aims to give relief to symptomatic COVID-19 patients has been developed and is now in the process of securing approval from the FDA.
• There is no evidence yet proving that booster shots may provide complete protection against COVID-19, the DOH said.
• The Philippine government is trying to obtain a better position to purchase Merck & Co’s experimental antiviral pill molnupiravir if ever it is proven beneficial, the DOH said.
• Senator Christopher “Bong” Go appealed to government authorities, in coordination with local government units, to ensure the efficient distribution of doses to its constituents to ensure that more Filipinos are protected against the virus.