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

COVID-19 pandemic: Latest situation in the Philippines – January 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 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.


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

PH COVID-19 cases breach 525,000

The Philippines now has 525,618 confirmed COVID-19 cases after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 2,103 new cases on Sunday, January 31.

The new daily figure, however, was only based on 202 laboratories out of 212 licensed testing hubs.

The DOH reported 80 new deaths due to the coronavirus disease, bringing the death toll to 10,749, while the recoveries are up by 11,653, raising total recoveries to 487,551.

Of the total cases, 27,318 are active.

Recto urges gov’t to stock up on syringes, other supplies

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto urged the Duterte government to “stock up on vaccination supplies, such as syringes,” while vaccines have not been delivered to the Philippines.

“You don’t have to wait for the horse to arrive before you start building the cart,” Recto said in a statement Sunday, January 31, as he referred to “ancillary requirements” for COVID-19 vaccination, such as syringes, PPEs, and refrigerators.

Makati eyes free vaccines even for non-residents working in city

Mara Cepeda

Makati Mayor Abby Binay said employees of businesses registered in the city will be covered under the free coronavirus vaccination program even if they are not Makati residents. 

“We are confident we will have enough to cover our essential workers who keep businesses running,” Binay said in a statement on Sunday, January 31. 

To qualify, companies must have a 2021 business permit and their tax payments must be up-to-date. Companies that will purchase vaccines for their own employees, however, will no longer be covered by the city’s immunization program. 

The country’s premier business district is allocating P1 billion of its funds to shoulder the costs of its free COVID-19 vaccination initiative. 

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

DOH: No evidence yet of efficacy of double face masks

DOH not keen on using anal COVID-19 testing

Bonz Magsambol

The Department of Health (DOH) said on Friday, January 29, that the government would have to assess using anal COVID-19 testing because it is too inconvenient for both the patients and health workers. 

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that anal swabbing needs to undergo validation and approval by regulatory agencies should it be brought into the country.

The DOH issued this statement after reports that anal swabbing is being used in some Chinese cities. 

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

LOOK: Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr and Mayor Moreno at COVID-19 vaccine storage facility in Manila

Carmona first LGU in Cavite to conduct simulation for COVID-19 vaccine rollout

The Carmona municipal government became the first LGU in Cavite to conduct a simulation for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout on Friday, January 29.

The Carmona Community Center in Barangay Cabilang Baybay is the designated main COVID-19 vaccination site in the town. It also has an Advocacy Center to promote the importance of COVID-19 vaccination to the community.

Aside from the Carmona Community Center, satellite locations will also be established in Barangay Bancal and Barangay Lantic.