THE increasing number of patients recovering from coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is proof that the country’s healthcare system is improving amid the prevailing health crisis, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., the chief implementer of the National Policy Against COVID-19, said Thursday night.
In a virtual media briefing, Galvez, citing Sept. 2 data, reported that about 158,610 patients or 70 percent out of the total confirmed cases have recovered from the disease.
“Ipinapakita din nito na kahit wala pang bakuna, kayang-kaya po natin na mapataas ang bilang ng ating recoveries at maibaba ang case fatality rate,” he said.
As of Sept. 3, there are 1,987 new COVID-19 infections — the lowest since July — raising the overall tally to 228,403 with only 64,207 active cases. There are 880 new recoveries and 65 deaths, bringing the total number of recoveries to 159,475 and the number of deaths to 3,688.
Out of the active cases, about 90.8 percent are mild, 6.7 percent are asymptomatic, 1.0 percent severe, and 1.4 percent critical.
The majority of the newly announced cases were from the National Capital Region with 818 cases, Cavite with 153 cases, Laguna with 125 cases, Negros Occidental with 122 cases, and Rizal with 78 cases.
According to the Department of Health, a total of 20,500 beds are dedicated to COVID-19 patients. About 50 percent of 1,700 intensive care unit beds are in use; 45 percent of 13,400 isolation beds; and 49 percent of 5,400 ward beds while about 28 percent of 2,200 ventilators are in use.
While the government is revamping the current healthcare system, Galvez said it is also working to address the pandemic’s mental health impact on the people.
“Sa ating pagbisita sa mga probinsya sa Visayas, ay may narinig po tayong malungkot na balita. May ilang lugar doon na mas mataas pa ang bilang ng mga namamatay dahil sa anxiety at depression kumpara sa mga nagkakasakit sa COVID-19,” he said.
Galvez said the impact of the pandemic on mental health should not be underestimated as it is an occurring issue that needs to be addressed.
“This pandemic has not only affected us physically but also mentally and emotionally as well,” he said. “Ito po ang lagi naming napag-uusapan ni Health Secretary Francisco Duque at ng buong Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.”
“Naniniwala kami na napakalaki talaga ng psychological impact ng sakit sa mga pasyente, lalo na sa ating mga locally-stranded individuals, returning overseas Filipinos and health front-liners,” he added.
Galvez said patients and their families usually feel the overwhelming sense of pain and rejection.
“We have also learned that it is not only the COVID-19 patients who are being affected emotionally but their families as well,” he added.
The government has established various COVID-19 helplines to support individuals who are experiencing stress, anxiety, discrimination, and other emotional challenges as a result of the pandemic.
Galvez said some local government units including Quezon City, Parañaque, and Valenzuela City have established telemedicine and counseling stations.
As part of the national recovery plan amid the crisis, Galvez said the government would also be implementing various mental health interventions to help cope with the pandemic.
Philippine News Agency