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 are the latest updates from the World Health Organization regarding the vaccines? How is the Department of Health addressing the variants, including the Omicron variant? What should the public expect in terms of the economy? What’s the status of the country’s vaccination rollout among the general public, children, and in the provinces? What about booster shots?
Bookmark and refresh this page for the latest news updates, opinion articles, and analysis pieces about the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines.
3.5 million vaccinated during third nationwide vaccination drive
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said around 3.5 million were vaccinated during the third wave of the government’s “Bayanihan Bakunahan” from February 10 to 11, falling short of their goal to vaccinate 5 million individuals.
During a Laging Handa public briefing on Saturday, February 19, Vergeire mentioned challenges including the capacity of healthcare workers to attend to both the Bayanihan Bakunahan and the children’s vaccination.
Vergeire added that 62.3 million individuals in the country have already been fully vaccinated out of the target coverage of 77 million.
‘Endgame’: Gov’t gets ready to transition to endemic response by March
Top officials of the Duterte administration have started preparations for a COVID-19 pandemic exit plan that would be implemented next month.
National Action Plan on COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez on Tuesday, February 15, said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) would meet and tackle a so-called “endgame plan” as the country transitions to a new normal – that is, a COVID-19 endemic.
The government, he said, was also preparing to conclude its two-year COVID-19 pandemic response as it moves closer toward the vaccination of 70% to 80% of the Philippine population.
For the full story, read here.
‘Maybe face masks will go’ by end-2022 if COVID-19 becomes endemic – DOH
“I think by the end of the year, hopefully, if cases will really be manageable already and we reach that endemic state that we are all hoping for, maybe masks will go,” says Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.
COVID-19 Weekly Watch: Coronavirus disease still far from being endemic in PH
Health officials are slowly painting the outlines of what an endemic state for COVID-19 might look like in the Philippines. It’s part of the groundwork to help Filipinos prepare for what life might look like once COVID-19 is less of an emergency that it is now – but it’s a state we’re still far from reaching, underscored health experts.
This week of February 13, 2022, we look at how the Philippines is preparing to move from the pandemic into an endemic phase. What must officials do to prepare for the next health emergency?
Read the full outlook here.
SC chief Gesmundo leads first in-person en banc session
Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo on Tuesday, February 16, presided over his first in-person en banc session since his appointment as chief magistrate in April 2021.
Prior to the en banc session – held inside the Session Hall to allow better physical distancing – the SC justices conducted deliberations on cases through videoconferencing during the pandemic.
The others present at the regular Tuesday en banc deliberations were Senior Associate Justice Estela M. Perlas- Bernabe, and associate justices Marvic Leonen Benjamin Caguioa, Ramon Paul Hernando, Amy Lazaro-Javier, Henri Jean Paul Inting, Rodil Zalameda, Mario Lopez, Samuel Gaerlan, Ricardo Rosario, Jhosep Lopez, Japar Dimaampao, and Midas Marquez.