News Release

Health chief reports continuing decline in COVID-19 cases


Government interventions seemed to start having an effect after the country’s health chief has reported a declining number of COVID-19 cases in the country.

In his report to President Rodrigo Duterte, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the country’s two-week growth rate last week fell to negative 24 percent from negative 22 percent while the average daily attack rate (ADAR) dropped to 5.95 cases per 100,000 population.

“At nananatiling nasa moderate risk naman ang NCR (National Capital Region) kung saan negative 46 percent na from negative 39 percent ang kanilang two-week growth rate,” he said in his report.

“Ibig pong sabihin nito, bumabagal na po ang pagdagdag o ang paglaki ng kaso at ang two-week growth rate at ang 13.44 naman ang ating ADAR mula po sa 24.9 cases per 100,000 population.”

Duque also reported that the healthcare utilization rate in the Philippines had decreased from 54 percent in April to 46 percent as of May 16.

He noted a 23 percent drop in the healthcare utilization rate for NCR – from 68 percent last month to 45 percent as of May 16.

He said that the ICU bed utilization rate in the NCR has dropped from 88 percent to 56 percent.

The NCR Plus was put under general community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions from May 15 to May 31 in a bid to curb the virus.

Duque encouraged local government units (LGUs) to continue enforcing localized or granular lockdowns to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Despite the improving situation in Metro Manila, Duque has observed an uptick in COVID-19 infections in 10 regions nationwide.

These regions include Mimaropa, Bicol Region, Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, Soccsksargen, Caraga, Zamboanga Peninsula and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Meanwhile, President Duterte said the government should continue to improve its COVID-19 programs in the face of new coronavirus variants.

With the emergence of more dangerous COVID-19 variants, the chief executive said the country must prepare for the worst.

“If at all, and with the advent of new variants, it is good to prepare for a more serious attack,” President Duterte said.

According to the President, the Philippine government is maintaining and recalibrating its preparedness in response to the threats posed by the mutated variants.

“Kung medyo palapit nang palapit na at marami nang tinatamaan, then we will go full blast in making everything operational,” he added. PND