President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night said he was confident the country will have a “better and truly merry Christmas” this year as the number of COVID-19 infections have declined due to the government’s immunization drive.
In his televised Talk to the People, Duterte also urged people to get vaccinated, saying this is the only solution to defeat COVID-19 and return to normal lives.
“For people who don’t want to be inoculated with COVID 19 vaccines, they should be injected while they are asleep,” Duterte said.
“I know many people are still hesitant. That’s the problem, those people who do not want to get vaccinated. That’s why find them in your barangays. Let’s enter their houses and vaccinate them while asleep so the story’s complete,” the President said.
Duterte made the statement after deputy chief implementor of the National Task Force Against COVID-19 Vince Dizon said COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy is still present in far-flung areas.
He said there needs to be an intensified information drive to let people know that vaccines reduce the chance of being infected with or getting a severe case of COVID-19 as proven by data coming from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
For the last few days, the Philippines recorded lower COVID-19 cases despite the presence of the more transmissible Delta variant.
In his regular public address, Duterte said: “If we continue to ramp up the vaccination of our people, along with our consistent practice of mask—not removing your masks—washing and distancing, and [allow] the gradual resumption of our economic activities, then we can hope for a better and truly merry Christmas.”
“We are confident that the most, if not all, major cities in the country will be hit and even surpass this target before Christmas,” he added.
Duterte appealed to the people to grab the opportunity to get vaccinated against COVID-19, regardless of the brand, especially now that the country has an adequate vaccine supply.
“This is not just for your own protection but…. part of your civic duty to protect others and also allow us to turn the page to get everyone back on track to normalcy,” he said.
As of Monday, a total of 50,066,590 COVID-19 vaccine doses have already been administered nationwide, based on the National Covid-19 Vaccination Dashboard uploaded on the official website of the Department of Health (DOH).
The DOH data shows that 23,360,489 people have been fully vaccinated, while 26,706,101 others have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
According to the June 23 to 26 survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations, around 45 percent of Filipinos are now willing to get inoculated against COVID-19.
Only 24 percent are still uncertain about receiving the vaccine, while 21 percent do not want to get vaccinated.
The survey also found that 10 percent of the respondents have already been vaccinated, with 7 percent receiving the first dose and 3 percent already completing the two doses.
In another SWS survey, 91 percent of Filipino adults said they were worried that anyone in their immediate family would be infected with COVID-19.
The SWS poll, conducted from September 12 to 16, saw the percentage of those worried about their loved ones getting COVID-19 increased by four points from the 87 percent who said they were so worried in June. Full story on manilastandard.net.
The latest figure of those worried about catching the virus tied the record-high level reached in November 2020.
The Philippines logged on 8,615 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the total number of infections to 2,683,372.
The relatively low number of cases is due to lower laboratory output on Sunday, Oct. 10, the DOH said.
There were 236 new fatalities on Tuesday, bringing the COVID-19 death toll to 39,896.
The DOH also reported 25,146 new recoveries, bringing the total recoveries to 2,561,248.
There were 82,228 active cases. This is the lowest number of active cases since the 81,399 on Aug. 11.
Of the number, 73.2 percent were mild, 14.2 percent were asymptomatic, 1.6 percent were critical, 3.8 percent were severe, and 7.28 percent were moderate.
The COVID-19 positivity rate was at 15.5 percent, based on samples of 34,175 individuals on Oct. 10.
Nationwide, 68 percent of ICU beds, 52 percent of isolation beds, 54 percent of ward beds, and 50 percent of ventilators, were in use.
In Metro Manila, 66 percent of ICU beds, 43 percent of isolation beds, 49 percent of ward beds, and 51 percent of ventilators, were in use.
The independent OCTA Research Group, meanwhile, said the reproduction number—or the number of people that one COVID-19 case can infect—dropped in Metro Manila to 0.61 from 0.74 in the previous week.
It was 0.88 the week before.
A reproduction number that is below 1 indicates that the transmission of the virus is slowing down. OCTA fellow Guido David, in a tweet, said the seven-day average in NCR also decreased to 1,933.
“This is the lowest since July 31 to Aug. 6, before ECQ was implemented in the region,” David said, referring to the enhanced community quarantine, the most stringent level of pandemic restrictions.
Meanwhile, the region’s positivity rate remained at 12 percent. David said the current average daily attack rate (ADAR) in NCR is 13.65 per 100,000, and the region remains at moderate risk for COVID-19.
The NCR will remain under Alert Level 4 until Oct. 15 as the government extended the pilot implementation of the new five-level alert system.
Areas under Alert Level 4 are those with high or increasing COVID-19 cases while total beds and ICU beds are at high utilization rate.
However, Malacañang on Monday said the government may likely ease quarantine restrictions in NCR due to the lower number of COVID-19 cases in the country.
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