COVID-19 pandemic: Latest situation in the Philippines - October 2020

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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 vaccine development?

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

Only 6 COVID-19 deaths in Cebu City in October

Ryan Macasero

DOH bulletin: COVID-19 cases as of October 31, 2020

Rappler.com

P77.98B released to gov’t agencies for COVID-19 response

The Department of Budget and Management released P77.98 billion to various government agencies for the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, state news agency PTV reported on Saturday, October 31.

This latest fund, under the Bayanihan 2 act, will cover special risk allowances and hazard pay for frontliners. It also includes funds for the Department of Labor and Employment for the implementation of cash for work programs.

Billions of funds were earlier stuck at the President’s office. The government attributed the delay of the release due to “budgetary requirements.”

Michelle Abad

Philippines now out of top 20 countries hardest-hit by COVID-19

On Thursday, October 29, Ukraine overtook the Philippines and bumped it out of the top 20 countries hardest hit by the coronavirus.

Ukraine's official COVID-19 tally that day, which came in the following morning (GMT) on Friday, October 30, stood at 378,729, higher than the Philippines' 376,935.

See more charts showing the Philippines' standing in the ASEAN and the world here.

Michael Bueza

DOH clarifies: Use of necklace air purifiers not recommended

Bonz Magsambol

No RITM lab operations from November 1-2 due to Typhoon Rolly

The Department of Health-Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (DOH-RITM) will temporarily shut down its laboratory operations on November 1 and 2 to give way to disaster risk mitigation measures throughout the institute as Typhoon Rolly is forecasted to bring heavy to intense rains starting Saturday, October 31.

“We intend to test samples received until tomorrow, October 31. We strongly encourage disease reporting units to refer their samples early, preferably between 7 am to 10 am. Those that would not be tested within the day will be stored in our -70° freezer for priority queuing when we resume operations,” RITM Director Celia Carlos announced.

RITM said that while its labs will resume accepting referred samples on Tuesday, November 3, clinical services within the institute will remain unhampered. Outpatient swabbing and walk-in patients will still be entertained, but only COVID-19 cases will be admitted to the hospital, it added.

Rappler.com

SWS: Pinoys' willingness to comply with contact tracing efforts 'extremely high'

The Social Weather Stations (SWS) September 17-20, 2020 National Mobile Phone Survey found that Filipinos’ willingness to comply with COVID-19 contact tracing efforts is "extremely high.”

The survey results showed that 97% of adult Filipinos will self-quarantine if they came in contact with a positive case, 96% will give a list of all the people they came in contact with if they tested positive, 93% will give access to their cell phone location data if they tested positive, and 87% will volunteer for weekly testing to track the progression of the virus.

The probability-based survey was conducted using mobile phone and computer-assisted telephone interviewing of 1,249 adult Filipinos nationwide: 309 in Metro Manila, 328 in Balance Luzon, 300 in the Visayas, and 312 in Mindanao. It has sampling error margin of ±3% for national percentages, ±6% for Metro Manila, ±5% for Balance Luzon, ±6% for the Visayas, and ±6% for Mindanao.

Rappler.com

PNP Academy now coronavirus-free

SILANG, Cavite – The Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) in Camp General Mariano Castañeda here is now COVID-19-free, the newly installed director, Police Major General Gilbert Cruz, said on Friday, October 30. 

At least 236 cadets and personnel contracted of the novel corona virus in September. Face-to-face classroom and field classes were suspended as 359 cadets went into quarantine.

The academy will announce the resumption of training and classes for its 1,098 cadets and work for its 361 uniformed and non-uniformed personnel.

Dennis Abrina

Philippines' COVID-19 cases now at 378,933

The Philippines now has 378,933 confirmed COVID-19 cases after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 2,006 cases on Friday, October 30.

The new daily figure, however, was only based on 141 laboratories out of 154 licensed testing hubs.

The DOH reported 38 new deaths due to the coronavirus disease, bringing the death toll to 7,185, while recoveries are up by 636, raising total recoveries to 330,457.

Of the total cases, 41,291 are active.

Bonz Magsambol