Philippines Warns Against Complacency as Virus Spread Slows

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The Philippines cannot be complacent amid the slowdown in the spread of the coronavirus as clusters of infections still remain while critical cases have marginally increased, health authorities said.

Reforms to centralize hospital command and intensify tracking and isolation helped cut back new infections and decongest health facilities this month, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a virtual briefing on Monday.

The agency is investigating a slight uptick in severe and critical cases, she said. Deaths accounted for 1.7% of cases as of September 21 versus 1.6% on August 17, according to health department data.

President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to decide on Monday whether to extend or ease quarantine measures, which are due to end on September 30.

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  • The Philippines, which is battling Southeast Asia’s largest outbreak, reported more than 83,000 new Covid-19 cases so far this month, less than the 127,000 cases registered in August.
  • Critical care facilities in the capital region, the epicenter of the country’s outbreak, are at 58% capacity or at “medium risk” as of September 20, from a “high risk” 67% at the start of the month.

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