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Government ‘on track’ with 15 million vaccinated NCR adults by end-August

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THE government is on track in inoculating, before end-August, half of the 30 million adult population in Metro Manila with Covid-19 vaccines.

On Thursday, National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 deputy chief implementer Vivencio “Vince” Dizon reported 41 percent of such target population are now fully vaccinated.

The local government units (LGU) ramped up their inoculation drive during the two-week lockdown in the National Capital Region (NCR).

The national government allocated 4 million Covid-19 vaccine doses for the initiative.

“As of August 18,  we were able to give jabs to 3 million [people in] NCR. Our average jab rate in NCR also rose from 130,000 jabs per day to almost 180,000 jabs per day. There was even a day when 231,000 were administered in a day,” Dizon said in an online press briefing.

“Because of that, we are now confident we will reach our target of fully vaccinating 50 percent of the eligible population [in NCR],” he added.

Bubble option

Once the target is met, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the government will be able to achieve “population protection” in the region, where there will be fewer Covid-infected people who will be hospitalized.

He said this will allow the  government to consider measures, which will allow more business to operate in the NCR including the proposed “transport bubble” by Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Jose Ma. “Joey” Concepcion III.

Under that scheme, vaccinated individuals will be allowed to move freely in the so-called “bubbles,” which may include public transportation hubs.

More capacity

Roque said the vaccination rate as well as the improving health-care utilization rate in Metro Manila were among the factors considered by the IATF in deciding whether to downgrade or extend the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the region beyond August 20, 2021.

Last Tuesday, health experts expressed concern that the alarming surge in the number of Covid-19 cases in NCR can overwhelm its existing health-care facilities. Intensive care unit (ICU) beds for Covid-19 patients in NCR reached 72 percent utilization last Sunday.

Roque said the ICU bed utilization in NCR went down to 61 percent last Wednesday. “Before, there were only 1,300 ICU beds [in NCR]. This was increased to 100 so there are now 1,400 [ICU beds] in Metro Manila,” Roque said.

Roque said President Duterte is expected to announce the updated community quarantine classification of NCR on Friday.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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