COVID-19 deaths in PH hit new peak in August

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 20) — COVID-19 deaths in the country reached an all-time high in August, surpassing the number of fatalities during the surge in April, the Department of Health said Monday.

An average of 155 deaths daily were recorded last month and peaked in mid-August, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said. The average during the spike in April was at 135 deaths per day.

The health official said the sheer number of new coronavirus infections is seen as the "most plausible explanation" for the high number of deaths. But Vergeire said it cannot be attributed to a single factor.

"Twice as much ang numero ng kaso natin ngayon, ganoon kadami. As your cases increase, the number of deaths will increase," she said during a briefing.

Vergeire said that partial data for September shows the country is recording an average of 99 COVID-related deaths daily. DOH is monitoring the situations in Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Metro Manila, Central Visayas, Cagayan Valley, Western Visayas, Ilocos Region, and the Cordillera Administrative Region.

COVID-19 has claimed the lives of 36,788 people in the country.

Meanwhile, DOH said the worst is not over for Metro Manila as the peak in new cases has yet to happen.

Vergeire again refuted the early observation of the OCTA Research that cases have peaked in the capital region. She said it is just "delayed" due to the community quarantine restrictions, improvements in enforcing minimum health standards, and increase in vaccination rates.

"Kailangan pang pag-aralan ang datos natin. Patuloy na tumataas ang kaso sa National Capital Region although bumagal ang pagtaas pero tumataas pa rin siya," she said.

[Translation: We need to study the data. Cases continue to rise in the National Capital Region. It is slowing down, but still on the rise.]

DOH projected that cases in Metro Manila will peak by the end of the month or early October.