THE DEPARTMENT of Health (DoH) reported 7,255 coronavirus infections on Monday, bringing the total to more than 1.06 million.
The death toll rose by 94 to 17,525, while recoveries increased by 9,214 to 975,234, it said in a bulletin.
There were 69,466 active cases, 1.1% of which were critical, 94.7% were mild, 1.8% did not show symptoms, 1.4% were severe and 0.94% were moderate.
The agency said 13 duplicates had been removed from the tally, nine of which were tagged as recoveries. Fifty-one recoveries were reclassified as deaths. Fifteen laboratories failed to submit data on May 1.
About 11.2 million Filipinos have been tested for the coronavirus as of May 1, according to DoH’s tracker website.
The coronavirus has sickened about 153.5 million and killed 3.2 million people worldwide, according to the Worldometers website, citing various sources including data from the World Health Organization.
About 130.9 million people have recovered, it said.
Meanwhile, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire said the first batch of 15,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine would be used at seven vaccination sites in the cities of Makati, Taguig, Parañaque, Manila and Muntinlupa City.
She also said the agency would “act accordingly” on the distribution by lawmakers of the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin last week.
Two congressmen led the distribution of ivermectin in Quezon City. The DoH last week said there was insufficient evidence to recommend the use of ivermectin for coronavirus patients.
Meanwhile, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) chief Rolando Enrique D. Domingo said they were investigating if the manufacturer and distributor of ivermectin for the coronavirus had followed FDA regulations.
“FDA’s concern is the regulation, including manufacturing and dispensing, of the ivermectin drugs,” he told an online forum. “If there were mistakes, then there are equal penalties.”
Mr. Domingo said the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients should be left to doctors, who should not prescribe drugs that have not been registered locally. People who have taken ivermectin should report problems to the FDA, he added.
Also on Monday, Health Undersecretary Leopoldo J. Vega told a televised news briefing on Monday 367 more intensive care (ICU) unit beds for coronavirus patients had been put up in Metro Manila, bringing the total to 1,148.
Presidential spokesman Herminio L. Roque, Jr. said he was pushing for 200 more ICU beds in Metro Manila.
“I will confirm on my own that as a result of my own hospitalization experience, I’m pushing for at least 200 additional ICU beds,” he told the same briefing. “That’s part and parcel of foresight. We can never say that what happened in India will not happen here.”
Mr. Roque said 64% of ICU beds in the country had been used as of May 2. About 45% of isolation beds have been used and more than 51% of ward beds were occupied.
About 70% of ICU beds in Metro Manila have been used, while 50% of isolation beds and 62% of ward beds in the region were occupied, he added.
Meanwhile, India’s Bharat Biotech, Inc. would only start delivering its coronavirus vaccines to Manila once the government has completed all regulatory requirements, Philippine Ambassador to India Ramon S. Bagatsing, Jr. said.
“We hope the requirements can be expedited by the regulatory authorities in the Philippines so that it can be brought there,” he told the same briefing. “Once all approvals are all in place, they can send it to the Philippines within one month.”
Mr. Bagatsing said Bharat’s Covaxin had not been approved for emergency use in the Philippines. The Finance department has yet to finalize its pricing scheme for the vaccine, he added.
“If those two hurdles are settled, then the orders can be made and the shipments can follow,” he said.
Mr. Bagatsing earlier said the country would take delivery of about eight million doses of Covaxin by the end of May. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas, Bianca Angelica D. Añago and Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza