The University of the Philippines – Diliman in Quezon City converts its gymnasium into a COVID-19 vaccination center for university workers and members of its community on May 4, 2021. The center is manned by qualified volunteers including university alumni. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA (UPDATED) – The Philippines on Friday confirmed 8,748 new COVID-19 cases, the second-highest this month, bringing the country’s total coronavirus patients to 1.2 million.

As of May 28, the Department of Health recorded 3,017 recent recoveries and 187 deaths, pushing the total number of recuperated patients to 1.13 million and the total number of fatalities to 20,566.

The number of recoveries on May 28 is the lowest daily recoveries tally in a week or since May 21’s 2,586 recoveries, according to the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group.

All laboratories have been operational since May 26, but 4 facilities were unable to submit its data, the DOH said in its 4 p.m. bulletin.

At least 122 cases that “were previously tagged as recoveries were reclassified as deaths after final validation,” it said.

As of May 25, the Philippines has fully vaccinated 1 million people against COVID-19, while 3.46 million others have been jabbed with their first dose.

The country began inoculating medical workers, senior citizens and persons with comorbidities in March.

The national government recently expanded the priority group to include outbound overseas Filipino workers and tourism frontliners to vaccinate more people against the disease that has infected at least 1.1 million in the country.
 

While the Department of Health is already reviewing studies on the vaccination of teens and children against COVID-19, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said minors have yet to be included in the government’s COVID-19 inoculation program due to the lack of jabs.

“Dahil kulang pa ang bakuna at hindi naman sila kabilang sa high-risk na grupo, hindi pa natin sila puwede isama sa ngayon,” Duque told state television PTV.

(We cannot include them yet because they are not part of the high-risk group and because we still lack vaccines.)

“Okay naman ‘yun pero limitado ang ating vaccine supply sa ngayon so kinakailangan talaga sundin ‘yung prioritization formula,” he said.

(It’s okay to vaccinate them but our vacine supply remains limited so we really have to follow the prioritization formula.)
 

The United States is willing to share with the Philippines a portion of its 80 million doses of vaccine stockpile, Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez said.

“Kasama ang Pilipinas na bibigyan nila at it will be delivered even earlier so baka this June rin,” he said in an interview on ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo. 

(The Philippines is among the countries who will receive it and it will be delivered even earlier so maybe this June.)
 

As of May 20, the Philippines has received 8.27 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Sinovac and Gamaleya. Of these jabs, 7.76 million doses have been administered to the public.

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