ONLY two-thirds of the capital region’s intensive care unit (ICU) beds for coronavirus patients have been used, suggesting the continued decrease in infections, according to the presidential palace.

The use rate of the beds in Metro Manila and nearby provinces are now below critical levels, presidential spokesperson Herminio “Harry” L. Roque, Jr. told a televised news briefing on Thursday.

Only 46% of isolation beds in the regions were occupied, while 50% of ward beds for coronavirus patients had been used, he added. About 48% of ventilators had been used.

The national use rate for ICU beds was 61%, 44% for isolation beds and 50% for ward beds, Mr. Roque said. He added that 42% of ventilators had been used.

Mr. Roque earlier said the lockdown in Metro Manila would probably be eased this month as coronavirus infections get under control.

Meanwhile, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei B. Nograles said a deal between the government and the proponent of a mega-vaccination site inside an 8.5-hectare urban forest managed by the Nayong Pilipino Foundation (NPF) was being finalized.

“It’s already been vetted by the Department of Tourism, it’s been vetted by the Department of Health (DoH), it’s now going through our government corporate counsel,” he said in a statement.

“Just a few minor edits and it will be signed very, very soon.”

DoH reported 6,385 coronavirus infections on Thursday, bringing the total to 1.12 million.

The death toll rose by 107 to 18,821, while recoveries increased by 4,289 to 1.05 million, it said in a bulletin.

There were 55,260 active cases, 1.4% of which were critical, 93.3% were mild, 2.2% did not show symptoms, 1.9% were severe and 1.18% were moderate.

It said 20 duplicates had been removed from the tally, 18 of which were tagged as recoveries and one as death. Fifty-nine recoveries were reclassified as deaths.

About 11.7 million Filipinos have been tested for the coronavirus as of May 11, according to DoH’s tracker website.

The coronavirus has sickened about 161.1 million and killed 3.3 million people worldwide, according to the Worldometers website, citing various sources including data from the World Health Organization.

About 138.9 million people have recovered, it said. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza and Vann Marlo M. Villegas