More than 13,000 more infected

The Department of Health (DoH) reported 13,177 coronavirus infections on Friday — the second-highest tally since the pandemic started last year — bringing the total to 1.71 million. 

Friday’s tally was the highest since April 2, when 15,310 infections were recorded. 

The death toll rose to 29,838 after 299 more patients died, while recoveries increased by 4,322 to 1.59 million, it said in a bulletin. 

There were 96,395 active cases, 95.8% of which were mild, 1% did not show symptoms, 1.4% were severe, 0.97% were moderate and 0.8% were critical. 

DoH said 238 duplicates had been removed from the tally, 229 of which were tagged as recoveries. Ten recoveries were reclassified as active cases and 175 recoveries were tagged as deaths. Four laboratories failed to submit data on Aug. 11. 

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire told an online news briefing it was too early to say whether the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila would be extended after Aug. 20. 

The Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines said an extended lockdown would aggravate the hardship and suffering of people who have yet to recover from the ill effects of the pandemic. 

“The National Economic and Development Authority estimate of a P300-billion loss for the two weeks of hard lockdown is a significant amount for our economy,” it said in a statement. 

Meanwhile, the National Task Force against COVID-19 would prioritize the vaccination of people in places under a strict lockdown task force deputy chief Vivencio B. Dizon separately told a televised news briefing. 

He said the government would start using the two million doses of CoronaVac that arrived from China on Thursday and the Pfizer and Sinopharm doses donated by the United Arab Emirates that arrived on Wednesday. He added that 570,000 doses of the vaccine made by AstraZeneca Plc arrived on Friday. 

Also on Friday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the vaccine made by China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd. has been the most administered brand in the Philippines, hence the greatest number of COVID-19 resurgence is among those who got it. 

FDA Director General Rolando Enrique D. Domingo said COVID-19 infections are not necessarily related to the effectivity of a specific vaccine brand. 

“Here in the Philippines, Sinovac and AstraZeneca have the most number of administered doses,” he told an online news briefing. — Bianca Angelica D. A؜ñago 

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