MANILA, Mar 8 (Mabuhay) — The Philippines recorded a total of 6,297 new COVID-19 cases from March 1 to 7, 2022, as the Department of Health shifted to a weekly bulletin.

The DOH said that the daily average of cases is at 899, which is lower by 30% than the cases reported from February 22 to 28.

The DOH also reported 1,055 severe and critical cases and an intensive care unit (ICU) utilization rate of 25.7%, or 807 out of the 3,138 ICU beds. Both are cumulative totals based on admissions as of March 6.

For non-ICU beds, 18.4% or 4,543 out of 24,678 are currently being utilized.

Of the new cases this week, only three or 0.05% are severe or critical cases.

Over 63.6 million individuals or 70.76% of the government’s target population are also fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Meanwhile, 10.5 million have received their booster shots.

There are 1.4 million senior citizens or 74.22% of the target A2 population have also received their primary vaccine series.

The country’s death toll, on the other hand, rose to 615.

Of these 615 deaths, 39 occurred in 39 occurred in March 2022, 195 in February 2022, 104 in January 2022, four in December 2021, 16 in November 2021, 37 in October 2021, 53 in September 2021, 29 in August 2021, 11 in July 2021, 15 in June 2021, 16 in May 2021, 24 in April 2021, 35 in March 2021, five in February 2021, one in January 2021, one in December 2020, nine in November 2020, four in October 2020, six in September 2020, six in August 2020, three in July 2020, one in April 2020, and 1 in March 2020 (0.2%) due to late encoding of death information to COVIDKaya.

This is currently being coordinated with the Epidemiology and Surveillance Units to ensure information is up to date.

The DOH reported 26 duplicates, all tagged as recoveries, were removed from the total case count. In addition, out of the original 6,319 newly reported case this week, there were 22 duplicates removed resulting to a total of 6,297 new cases for the week.

Meanwhile, 551 cases that were previously tagged as recoveries were reclassified as deaths after final validation.

This is the first weekly COVID-19 case bulletin issued by the Department since it announced last Tuesday that they would “permanently” shift from issuing it daily to a weekly basis, focusing on active severe and critical infections and the intensive care unit (ICU) utilization.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire explained that the purpose for these changes is to make the public look beyond the number of infections, and instead focus on the severity of the patients’ condition and the healthcare utilization in the country. (MNS)

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