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

COVID-19 pandemic: Latest situation in the Philippines – September 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 are the latest updates from the World Health Organization regarding the vaccines? How is the Department of Health addressing the variants? What should the public expect in terms of the economy, quarantine classifications, 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.


LIST: Red, green, yellow list countries for October 1 to 15

Pia Ranada

The Philippine government announced its updated list of red, green, and yellow countries for the period of October 1 to 15, which corresponds to the length of quarantine period required for persons traveling to the Philippines from those countries.

Red: Bermuda

Green: American Samoa, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cayman Islands, Chad, China (mainland), Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Falkland Islands (Malvinas), Hungary, Madagascar, Mali, Federated States of Micronesia, Montserrat, New Zealand, Niger, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Poland, Saba (Special Municipality of the Kingdom of Netherlands), Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Sierra Leone, Sint Eustatius, Taiwan, Algeria, Bhutan, Cook Islands, Eritrea, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Nicaragua, Niue, North Korea, Saint Helena, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Tokelau, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, and Yemen

Yellow: All others

Red list countries mean travelers from there are not allowed to enter the Philippines during the given time period.

Green list countries mean fully vaccinated persons from these places benefit from a shortened quarantine period upon arrival – seven days, with RT-PCR on the fifth day.

Yellow list countries mean there is no such perk for fully vaccinated persons from these places. They must still do a 14-day quarantine – 10 days in an accredited quarantine facility, 4 days under home quarantine in their local government of destination, with an RT-PCR test on the seventh day of quarantine.

Must Read

NCR stays under Alert Level 4 until October 15; gyms allowed for vaccinated

NCR stays under Alert Level 4 until October 15; gyms allowed for vaccinated

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

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

Vaccinations for minors aged 12-17 to start with those with comorbidities

Sofia Tomacruz

Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje says that the rollout of vaccines to minors with comorbidities may start as early as October 15, with a pilot run in Metro Manila.

Read more.

COVID-19 Watch, Week of September 27, 2021: It’s crunch time for PH’s vaccination program

Sofia Tomacruz

COVID-19 indicators that health officials are closely monitoring show that the situation of the epidemic in the Philippines may be easing after months of a steep increase in infections. Still, health systems continue to struggle and several areas still report spikes in infections. 

This week of September 27, 2021, we’re watching whether a new lockdown system will be implemented for the rest of the country, and whether crucial decisions are made regarding the Philippines’ vaccine supply.

Read the full outlook here.

DOH bulletin: COVID-19 cases as of September 28, 2021

Herd immunity isn’t the only goal the Philippines needs to reach

Sofia Tomacruz

Although having a clear target for vaccination can provide both a sense of hope for the public and accountability for government, experts Rappler spoke to say herd immunity shouldn’t be the only goal we strive to achieve to be able to exit the pandemic. 

The trouble with treating herd immunity as the only goal the country needs to reach is that it can overlook people most vulnerable to COVID-19. There has been increasing pressure on pandemic officials to meet this goal by the end of 2021, with many groups calling for the immediate expansion of vaccination to cover more Filipinos and the rest of the working population.

Speeding up vaccination to achieve targets by the end of the year, but failing to reach high-risk groups like the elderly (A2) and people with comorbidities (A3) across the country will still likely see the Philippines dealing with the same problem of overwhelmed health systems in the future. The two groups are among the most vulnerable to developing severe illness and dying.

Read the in-depth story here.

Total COVID-19 tally nears 2.5 million as new cases top 20,000 again

The Philippines now has 2,490,858 confirmed COVID-19 cases after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 20,755 new cases on Sunday, September 26.

The new cases were again above 20,000, after seven days below that threshold. Still, the seven-day average of new cases remained below 18,000.

The DOH reported zero deaths again on Sunday, as technical issues with its data system persisted.

Meanwhile, the recoveries were up by 24,391, raising total recoveries to 2,292,006.

Of the total cases, 161,447 or 6.5% are active.

DOH bulletin: COVID-19 cases as of September 26, 2021