COVID-19 pandemic: Latest situation in the Philippines – April 2021

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What you need to know

How many people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the Philippines? How many have recovered, and how many have died? What is President Rodrigo Duterte doing about it? What should the public expect in terms of the economy and the vaccine rollout?

Bookmark and refresh this page for the latest news updates, opinion articles, and analysis pieces about the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines.

Latest updates

DOH bulletin: COVID-19 cases as of April 30, 2021

Rappler.com

Ifugao placed under MECQ, Puerto Princesa under GCQ in May

The national government has added Ifugao to the list of areas under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) for the month of May, Malacañang announced on Friday, April 30.

Meanwhile, Puerto Princesa has been added to the list of areas under general community quarantine (GCQ).

Pia Ranada

DOH bulletin: COVID-19 cases as of April 29, 2021

Rappler.com

Philippines to get 2.3 million Pfizer vaccine doses by end-June

After months of uncertainty, the COVAX Facility and Gavi have confirmed that the Philippines is set to receive 2.3 million doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine "not later than June," said vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr on Thursday, April 29.

"We were given a letter from COVAX and Gavi that we will receive 2,355,210 Pfizer doses," he said in Filipino during a Malacañang news briefing.

Read more.

Rappler.com

DOJ: Up to police if they can arrest ivermectin distributors

For now, it would be the call of law enforcers if they can arrest House Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta and Anakalusugan Representative Mike Defensor for openly distributing the unregistered anti-parisitic drug ivermectin for COVID-19 treatment, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said on Thursday, April 29.

Read more.

Rappler.com

New Sinovac delivery brings PH vaccine doses to over 4 million

A delivery of 500,000 doses of CoronaVac, the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine, arrived in the Philippines on Thursday morning, April 29. This brings the number of doses in the country to 4,025,600.

The vaccines arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport aboard a Cebu Pacific flight. It is part of the 25 million CoronaVac doses purchased by the national government from Sinovac.

Pia Ranada

DOH bulletin: COVID-19 cases as of April 28, 2021

Rappler.com

Recto wants inventory of ventilators, critical care equipment in gov't hospitals

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto wants an inventory of the ICU beds, ventilators, and other critical care equipment in government hospitals as part of the Senate's "mandatory review" on the heath department's spending during the pandemic.

Recto said in a statement on Wednesday, April 28, that the increase in the number of mechanical ventilators in private and public hospitals from 1,446 units in May 2020, to 2,601 units in April 2021, “does not seem to be commensurate with the need.”

“The data should be unbundled so we will know the inventory in government hospitals. Dito dumadagsa ang mga mahihirap, kaya dapat alam natin kung sapat ba ang kanilang mga (The poor flock to these hospitals so we should know if they have enough) ICU units, ventilators, high-flow oxygen therapy machines,” he said.

Rappler.com

Cagayan de Oro archbishop closes 6 churches due to COVID-19

Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Jose Cabantan on Tuesday, April 27, ordered the closure of at least 6 churches under his jurisdiction after several priests got infected with COVID-19.

The Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro ordered the closure of the Shrine of the Black Nazarene, San Isidro Church, Our Lady of Candelaria Church, Immaculada Concepcion Church, Our Lady Of Mount Carmel Church, and Church of Santa Cruz, all in Misamis Oriental.

“The closure will be in effect for 10 consecutive days, beginning April 28 up to May 7, 2021,” Cabantan said in a letter released Tuesday afternoon.

“I, in consultation with our Health (COVID) Crisis Committee, am forced on my own volition (motu proprio) to decide painfully to order the closure to religious activities and other related activities of some parish. In the meantime, these parish churches have to be disinfected,” he added.

He also said the move is "also our way of showing that we are one with the people, the government, and every other person or entity concerned with the overcoming of the spread of the virus of COVID-19."

Bobby Lagsa