The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines is nearing the 330,000-mark after 2,800 more infections were detected, the Department of Health (DOH) reported on Wednesday.

08122020 MAKATI ROMERO 5 1024x683 - COVID-19 active cases in PH nears 50,000 mark; DOH prepares for start of Solidarity vaccine trials
(JANSEN ROMERO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

The DOH said that 2,825 new people have been afflicted with COVID-19, raising the number of active cases across the country to 49,989. The cumulative caseload of the Philippines currently stood at 329,637. 

Metro Manila recorded the highest number of new cases with 1,031, followed by Cavite with 243, Batangas with 238, Bulacan with 173, and Rizal with 159.

The tally of recoveries climbed to 273,723 after 437 more survivors were recorded, while the death count went up to 5,925 with 60 new fatalities.

Preparations for the Solidarity trials

In a related development, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the DOH is now preparing for the World Health Organization’s Solidarity Trials for Vaccines that is expected to start by the end of this month. 

“As we wait for WHO to announce the trial sites, when is really the start of the clinical trials— in parallel, we are finalizing our preparatory activities already so that when the WHO signals na mag-umpisa na tayo, we are already ready for this clinical trial,” said Vergeire in an online forum Wednesday. 

Aside from the country’s vaccine experts panel, Vergeire said that the government is also creating a “data safety monitoring committee.”

“Ito po yung sa monitoring ng pagbabakuna para meron tayong mga eksperto para po pag sinumbmit sa kanila yung data, they can readily analyze and provide further recommendation to the implementors—sa DOH at saka local government units [This is for the monitoring of the vaccination (process) so that we have experts that can readily analyze and provide further recommendation to the implementors — to the DOH and then local government units],” she said. 

The DOH’s health promotion bureau is also preparing to “engage” the public with regards to this initiative.

“Napaka importante po na [It is important that] we engage the community. So that the community will be informed of this trial: what will happen, what would be the advantages, what would be the possible disadvantages or harmful effects of these vaccines and how it can benefit the community,” she said. 

“Lahat ng ito ay pinaghahandaan natin sa ngayon [We are preparing all of these right now],” she said.

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