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Philippines' COVID Death Toll Surpasses 20,000

The pandemic is far from over.
by Arianne Merez
May 25, 2021
Photo/s: Jerome Ascaño

The Philippines on Tuesday surpassed 20,000 COVID-19 deaths as it prepares to ramp up vaccination efforts in the second half of the year.

Since the start of the pandemic last year, the Philippines has totaled 20,019 COVID-19 deaths after reporting 36 new fatalities due to the virus on Tuesday, data from the Department of Health showed.

There were 3,972 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the total active cases to 48,201. Total COVID-19 recoveries rose to 1,120,452 with 4,659 new ones reported.

The country's cumulative tally for COVID-19 cases stood at 1,188,672 as of Tuesday.

The Philippines was forced to revert to strict lockdowns in major urban hubs last April as it sought to control a surge in COVID-19 infections that overwhelmed its healthcare system.

As many as 15,000 COVID-19 cases a day were reported in April, the same month COVID-19 cases in the country topped one million.

It was only last week that the government largely eased restrictions in the Greater Manila Area after more than a month of strict quarantines. Until May 31, Metro Manila, Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal are under general community quarantine with "heightened restrictions."

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Authorities have earlier said that more COVID-19 vaccines are expected to arrive in the second quarter of the year as it gears up to expand the immunization program to economic frontliners, and the poor.


Economic Frontliners to Get Vaccines as Priority List Expands

WHO Says Brand-Neutral Vaccine Drive to Help Avoid Superspreaders

At present, the country's COVID-19 vaccination program covers health workers, senior citizens, and persons with comorbidities.

President Rodrigo Duterte had said that with the help of vaccines, the Philippines could return to "normal," by 2023.

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