Forty-three percent of the people who reportedly died due to COVID-19 so far this year were unvaccinated, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Tuesday.
Data from the DOH showed that a total of 3,349 COVID-19 deaths were recorded in various health facilities from January 1 to May 14, 2023.
Among these, 1,425 fatalities, or 43%, were unvaccinated against the coronavirus disease.
“Dito natin makikita kung gaano ka-importante ang pagbabakuna laban sa COVID-19,” DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said at a press conference.
(We can see how important vaccination against COVID-19 is.)
According to the DOH, at least 78.4 million Filipinos are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while 23.8 million individuals have received at least a first booster dose.
Vergeire also expressed belief that there is already a local transmission of the COVID-19 Omicron subvariant XBB.1.16, considering that there is already “no linkage” to the recent cases detected.
“We had been discussing with our experts since last week and we think, based on what we are seeing that there is already no linkage to any of these cases that we had been identifying, that there is already a local transmission of this Arcturus, just like any of the different subvariants of the Omicron variant in the country,” she explained.
There are currently four confirmed Arcturus cases in the country, after three more from Western Visayas were detected in the latest genome sequencing.
Despite this, Vergeire said the public does not have to worry about a possible local transmission as long as they adhere to health protocols such as wearing of face masks when needed, and getting vaccinated and boosted.
COVID-19 daily cases this week average at 1,798—a 28% increase than the 1,400 cases recorded from May 2 to May 8.
The national positivity rate also rose to 23.5% from last week’s 20%. —VAL, GMA Integrated News