The number of coronavirus cases in the country is in fact declining, health officials confirmed, after record-high tallies placed increasing stress on health systems across the nation for months.
Some caveats: case tallies are still higher than they were before the onset of the surge around August, and at least three regions are still at “high risk.”
Here’s what we’re watching this week of October 11, 2021:
The program expands as vaccinations in Metro Manila – early on the government’s priority – are expected to climb over 50% among the elderly. Pandemic officials are also doubling down on reaching at least 50% of the country’s population by the end of the year.
With cases now lowering, the idea of a Christmas with less restrictions in Metro Manila may be possible, according to the health department. But it will depend on how sustainable the decrease in infections is, and if projections to reach only 1,100 cases daily by November 15 in the National Capital Region will be met.
Health officials in the United States will tackle findings from a clinical trial on mixing and matching COVID-19 vaccines this week. Such studies are important since mixing COVID-19 vaccines is eyed to address several issues with vaccination rollouts, such as limited and erratic supply, as well as performance of some shots.
If found to be effective, mixing shots could provide flexibility in global vaccination efforts, especially for developing countries.
In case you missed it: Health workers, an often quiet workforce, once again broke their silence and expressed indignation over President Rodrigo Duterte’s move to stymie the Senate’s ongoing investigation into the alleged corruption in his administration’s pandemic response.
The message of the Philippine College of Physicians, along with 44 other medical societies: Don’t obstruct the probe, let the truth out, and please do not waste the sacrifices of ordinary Filipinos and our fallen colleagues.
More on that in this story: