COVID-19 still among leading causes of death this year

MANILA, Philippines — The coronavirus disease remains among the leading causes of death in the country, data gathered by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in the first four months of 2022 showed.

Registered deaths due to identified and unidentified COVID-19 reached a total of 10,226 or 6.5 percent of the total registered deaths from January to April this year, data released by the PSA showed.

While this year’s figure is down from the 20,160 deaths due to COVID-19 in the same period last year, it remains the fourth leading cause of death in the Philippines.

By classification, deaths due to COVID-19 with virus identified or those confirmed by a laboratory test for the given period reached 7,692, while those due to COVID-19 with virus not identified accounted for 2,534.

In the same period last year, deaths due to COVID-19 under the same classifications were 12,732 and 7,428, respectively.

PSA said its figures for COVID-19 deaths may differ from the numbers released by the Department of Health (DOH).

The PSA stressed that its data is obtained from the certificates of death, particularly the descriptions written on the medical certificate; while the DOH bases its tally on its surveillance system.

Among the 17 regions, the National Capital Region (NCR) saw the biggest number of deaths due to COVID-19 with 2,440 or 23.9 percent of the total for the period of January-April 2022.

Ranking second was Region 4-A (Calabarzon) with 1,521 deaths (14.9 percent), followed by Region 3 (Central Luzon) at third place with 1,355 deaths (13.3 percent).

Meanwhile, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao had the least number of registered COVID-19 deaths with only 20 cases in the first four months of the year.

In the capital region, Quezon City registered the biggest number of deaths due to COVID-19, with 526 deaths or 21.6 percent of the total COVID-19 deaths in the region in the January to April period.

Manila came in second with 396 COVID-19 deaths (16.2 percent), while Caloocan City placed third with 242 (9.9 percent) deaths due to COVID-19.

Overall, the top leading cause of death for the January to April period was ischemic heart disease with 29,442 cases or 18.7 percent of the total deaths in the country.

Cerebrovascular diseases came in second with 16,316 deaths or a 10.4 percent share.

Neoplasms commonly known as cancer placed third, with 14,928 recorded cases or a 9.5 percent share.

“Incidentally, these were also the leading causes of death in the same period in 2021,” the PSA said.

Total deaths in the country for the January to April period declined 34.3 percent year-on-year to 157,507.

NCR positivity rate decreases – OCTA

?Meanwhile, the COVID-19 positivity rate in the NCR decreased for the first time in the current wave, an indication that cases in Metro Manila may have already peaked, OCTA Research group said yesterday.

In a tweet, OCTA fellow Dr. Guido David said that NCR’s positivity rate was down to 16.4 percent on Aug. 12 from 17.5 percent on Aug. 6.

“This is the first time in the current wave the weekly positivity rate decreased, and it gives us optimism that cases in the NCR may have already peaked,” David said.

Positivity rate refers to the percentage of people who were found positive for COVID-19 among the total number of individuals tested.

OCTA said the positivity rate is still at 18.4 percent nationwide as of Aug. 13.

The DOH reported that a total of 4,679 new COVID-19 cases were recorded Saturday, bringing the number of cases nationwide to 3,827,758.

The NCR recorded 15,843 new cases in the past two weeks, followed by Calabarzon with 10,052, Central Luzon with 5,212, Western Visayas with 2,873, and Cagayan Valley with 2,236.

Active COVID cases

Active COVID-19 cases nationwide exceeded 40,000 as the DOH yesterday reported additional 4,182 cases of the highly infectious disease.

The DOH said the new cases brought to 3, 831, 941 the total number of confirmed COVID cases nationwide.  Of the total cases, 40,016 are active while 3,730,889 have recovered from the disease.

The number of those who succumbed to the illness rose to 61,036.

The NCR accounted for the biggest number of the reported new cases for the past 14 days with 15,767, followed by Calabarzon, 10,044 and Central Luzon 5,265.

The DOH said the cumulative positive rate is at 13.8 percent while the bed occupancy rate is up 30.5 percent. – Pia Lee-Brago, Mayen Jaymalin