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

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


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.


DOH submits Sinopharm emergency use application to FDA

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said on Monday, May 31, that the Department of Health submitted the application for emergency use authorization of Sinopharm’s coronavirus vaccine to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III earlier ordered the filing of Sinopharm’s application after President Rodrigo Duterte drew criticism for getting the Chinese company’s shot – his preferred jab – even if it has yet to be granted emergency approval in the Philippines.

Duque himself administered the Sinopharm jab for Duterte.

Sinopharm’s vaccine was also supposedly used by members of Duterte’s security team, lawmakers, and Cabinet officials in 2020, prompting the FDA to launch a probe into the illegal use of vaccines in the country.

Sofia Tomacruz

DOH bulletin: COVID-19 cases as of May 31, 2021

50,000 more Russian vaccine doses arrive

The Philippines received 50,000 more doses of the Sputnik V vaccine developed by Russia’s Gamaleya Institute on Sunday night, May 30.

The shipment arrived via a Qatar Airways flight at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.

This is the third batch of Sputnik V doses delivered to the Philippines, following two shipments of 15,000 doses each on May 1 and May 12.

Pia Ranada

General Trias in Cavite opens vaccination hub at Robinson’s Place

The city government of General Trias in Cavite opened a new vaccination hub at Robinson’s Place in Barangay Tejero on Saturday, May 29. 

The new center, located at the cinema hallway on the second floor, can accommodate 350 people daily. It will service people in the A1, A2, and A3 priority groups. 

This is the second vaccination site in the city, the first one being the General Trias Convention Center in Barangay Sampalukan, where up to 650 people are vaccinated every day. 

City Health Officer Dr. Jonathan Luseco reminded residents that only those who have registered online and given schedule can go to the vaccination sites. 

As of May 29, General Trias has recorded a total of 5,698 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 5,359 are now recovered and 103 deaths. There are 236 active cases, with 46 in the isolation facility in Barangay Santiago, 165 in strict home quarantine, and 25 admitted in hospitals. –

Dennis Abrina

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

PH reports over 100 COVID-19 deaths for 4th straight day

The Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday, May 29, reported 7,443 new cases of the coronavirus disease in the country, bringing the Philippines’ total caseload to 1,216,582. Of these, 53,614 are active.

The DOH also recorded 156 new deaths due to the virus, bringing the death toll to 20,722. Saturday was the fourth straight day that reported deaths went over 100.

Meanwhile, 7,533 have newly recovered, bringing total recoveries in the country to 1,142,246.

The new cases on Saturday mark a dip from the 8,748 new COVID-19 infections confirmed on Friday – the highest single-day tally since May 1.

Earlier on Saturday, the DOH said that the more than 8,000 cases reported on Friday could be due to increasing infections outside the Greater Manila Area.

As of May 26, the Philippines has confirmed 2,494 total cases with variants monitored by the health department. These include cases with the more infectious variants first detected in the United Kingdom, South Africa, India, Brazil, and the Philippines. Of these, 26 were active.

Michelle Abad

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

PH has 26 active cases of more infectious variants as of May 26

The Department of Health (DOH) reported that as of May 26, the country has 26 active cases of the more infectious COVID-19 variants that were first detected in the United Kingdom and South Africa, as well as the variant first detected in the Philippines.

The Philippines has confirmed 2,494 total cases with variants monitored by the health department.

Of the 26 active cases, 14 of these are of the South African variant (B1351), 11 are UK variant cases (B117), and one is the variant first detected in the Philippines (P3).

There were no more active infections of the “double mutant” Indian variant (B1617.2) – which was detected in 13 cases so far. The active case tally also went down to zero for the Brazilian variant (P1).

Fifty-nine so far have died of all the variants except for P1. Meanwhile, a total of 2,409 have recovered from the variants.

Michelle Abad

8,000+ cases on May 28 may be due to rise in infections outside ‘NCR Plus’ – DOH

The 8,748 new coronavirus cases recorded in the country on May 28 – the highest since May 1 – may be due to increasing infections outside “NCR Plus,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said on Saturday, May 29.

“Aside from NCR, Regions 4A and 3, there is an increase in cases in other areas, so it may be due to the increase in cases outside NCR Plus,” Vergeire said in Filipino during the government’s Laging Handa briefing on Saturday.

Is it considered a surge? Vergeire said to be “cautious in interpretation,” adding that there has been an upward trend in the past few days because of “laboratories submitting completely and being operational.”

Vergeire didn’t answer whether the rising number of cases could affect new restrictions that may be announced before Monday, May 31, as she said the health department has yet to fully analyze the numbers.

Lian Buan

DOH looks into proposal to let fully vaccinated people shed face masks

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that several factors have to be considered, including the rate of vaccination in the country.

Vergeire also said the situation in the Philippines is “difficult” to compare to that of the United States, where the policy has been adopted.

Our World in Data showed that the 40.2% of the US population had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Less than 1% of the Philippine population had been fully vaccinated, so far.

Read more.