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PH Overtakes Singapore, China in Most Cases in Western Pacific Region

The Philippines now tops the Western Pacific region for the most number of COVID-19 cases reported on June 16 to 27.

The easing of the quarantine from MECQ to GCQ in the National Capital Region (NCR) has instilled some fear in the public as people are worried that the number of cases might spike if people are allowed to go to malls and other public places. With the transition to a looser quarantine, more workers and individuals are outside their homes, risking their health and safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic. And even with a team of researchers and experts from UP saying that cases might reach 40,000 by June 30, the government has ensured that NCR is ready for GCQ.

But data from the World Health Organization (WHO) says otherwise. From June 16, or two weeks after the metro and other provinces under MECQ shifted to GCQ, to June 27, the Philippines has reported 8,143 new cases of COVID-19, the highest among the 22 countries in the Western Pacific region. It has already surpassed the number of cases reported by Singapore and China for the same period by a big gap.

Singapore, which is already battling its second wave of infections, reported 2,351 new cases from June 16 to June 27. On the other hand, China comes in third as it has only recorded 302 new cases for the 10-day period. Meanwhile, the Philippines has reported a higher death rate per million compared to Singapore; PH is currently reporting 11.34 deaths per 1 million population, while Singapore is reporting 4.4 deaths per million. (Read: Panalangin sa panahon ng COVID-19)

Amid these reports, the Department of Health (DOH) has explained that the country’s COVID-19 case fatality rate (CFR) is still lower than the global CFR which is at 5.1%, thanks to localized efforts by different local government units.

Photo from AP Photo / Ee Ming Toh / Hawaii Public Radio

Health Protocols

DOH also noted that the Philippines and Singapore vary in socioeconomic status, living conditions, and health care systems even before the COVID-19 pandemic which is why we shouldn’t compare ourselves to them. But the health department reminded everyone that minimum health protocols, including wearing of face masks and proper hygiene, should be strictly observed.

As of writing, 10,243,858 individuals have been infected with COVID-19, and 504,410 have already succumbed to the disease.

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