Let us mourn all 64,070 Pinoys who didn’t survive COVID-19
After COVID-19’s confirmed local transmission March 17,2020, and nearly two years and seven months of local transmission, more than 4 million Filipinos have now contracted the virus and 64,074 perished.
Year 2020 was the time the medical world went disarray on handling this deadly pandemic. Even doctors, nurses and frontliners were dying. By August, DOH was reporting 2,000 to 3,000 cases a day in 1,302 COVID 19 clusters all over the country. By September 14, 258 Pinoys died in a single day, the highest that year.
The vaccines arrived early 2021 and government immediately started mass vaccinations on March 1. However, mounting deaths continued and by April 9, it initially peaked to 400 people killed in a single day. Four months later, on August 21, this was nearly equaled by 397 dead people. But the highest COVID-19 kills in our history would be on October 30, when 423 people died in one day.
Metro Manila lost 13,307 people to COVID-19, about 2,638 from Quezon city and 1,895 from Manila. Second was Central Luzon with 8,488 deaths while CALABARZON (6,454) and Central Visayas (6,404) are in second and third places. Cebu has 2,522 COVID deaths while Bulacan registered 2,137.
Most recent DOH-OCTA report says nationwide positivity rate went down to 10.3 percent from 15.3 percent in September 16, with only 281 new cases in Metro Manila from 1251 new cases in September 16) and 1,099 new cases nationwide from 2,619 new cases September 16).
A big decline that may have moved many decision makers including LGUs to complacency.
However, I noticed the almost steady, day to day numbers of deaths from the same DOH data drop. In one of our radio interviews over Radyo Pilipino, Dr. Guido David of Octa Research, says the Department of Health will be the agency to explain this.
Figures show that for the whole month of September this year, a total of 1,133 people died due to COVID, highest deaths were on September 6, when 56 people died on the same day. Three days before 52 people died on September 3. Lowest was 16 fatalities on September 11.
October month figures totaled a slightly lower 1,088 deaths and the highest were on two dates, October 19, and October 20 with 44 deaths each while the lowest was 29 on October 3.
If we follow this trend, 12,000 more people will die of COVID-19 next year.
Of course, when I refer to these people, I know they are not “units of measure”. Every fatality is a loss to every family and their loved ones. But, to common persons like me, this is not good news, more so if they number to dozens killed every day reported no less by the DOH.
If government says this virus is not as deadly as Delta, Lambda, GAMMA, BETA, UK variant and the others that hit us, why do dozens of people still die every day?
By an executive order, Malacañang has ordered the relaxing of some health protocols, indoor and outdoor use of masks. This happened despite the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) discovering local transmissions of two new variants of concern, recombinant XBB (81 cases) and recombinant XBC (193 cases).
Some doctors differ, particularly Infectious diseases Expert Dr. Edsel Salvana who argues that mask mandates should be allowed to continue until the upcoming “bivalent vaccines” arrives. This may help reduce transmissibility, he says, and therefore will be our insurance against surprising Covid-19 mutations. Rest assured, he further says, all current vaccines continue to protect us in preventing severe diseases at a very high rate.
Clearly, this government has now placed more premium on the economy over our serious health concerns. Whether it was correct or incorrect decision, history will judge them.
But today, we go to cemeteries and remember our dead. And please, let us not forget many of our kababayans who failed to survive the deadly COVID-19 in the past tumultuous two and a half years. Lucky for us that we received on time our vaccines and boosters plus the much improvement of medical care by our doctors. We, who are alive, are indeed blessed and must be thankful.
Today, we remember those we lost, our relatives, friends, neighbors, colleagues, billionaires, poor, famous or infamous kababayans, here and abroad.
It is appropriate that we mourn and pray for them in our celebration of All Souls Day.
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