PH coronavirus cases breach 143,000

The number of coronavirus cases in the Philippines breached the 143,000 mark, reaching 143,749 on Wednesday, August 12, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

There were 4,444 new cases confirmed on Wednesday. The number of reported new cases daily has been above 3,000 since July 30, except for Tuesday, August 11, when there were 2,987 new cases.

Of the 4,444 new cases, 3,294 occurred in the last 14 days, with more than half or 57% coming from Metro Manila.

There were 93 new fatalities on Wednesday, bringing the total death toll to 2,404.

The DOH also recorded 636 new recoveries. The total number of recoveries is now at 68,997.

President Rodrigo Duterte is still heavily reliant on the development of a vaccine, earlier saying that there can be no road map to recovery if there is no vaccine.

The Philippines is now eyeing to participate in Phase 3 clinical trials for Russia's vaccine, even amid rising concerns over its safety and efficacy. Western scientists said Russia might be cutting corners in the race for a vaccine.

The DOH assured the public that Russia's COVID-19 vaccine will be subject to a rigorous review and regulatory protocols.

The DOH has also identified 4 hospitals in the clinical trial for the Japanese anti-flu drug Avigan.

All of these are happening against the backdrop of a scandal within the state-run Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

Congressional investigations have revealed that the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in Davao City, Duterte's hometown, got the lion's share of the reimbursement for coronavirus treatments – even if cases there are far fewer than in Metro Manila, the epicenter of the pandemic in the country.

In a House hearing on Wednesday, PhilHealth Senior Vice President Israel Francis Pargas said the SPMC tallied the highest reimbursement and number of claims in 2019, the basis for the computation of the Interim Reimbursement Mechanism which is being questioned now. – Rappler.com

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.

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