Philippine Daily Inquirer
A( H1N1) deaths in RP now at 28, says report
THE NUMBER OF FATALITIES IN THE Philippines due to the Influenza A( H1N1) virus has reached 28 as of Sept. 3, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines ( TUCP) said yesterday, citing a report from the Stockholm, Swedenbased European Center for Disease Prevention and Control ( ECDC).
In a statement, TUCP secretary general Ernesto Herrera said the ECDC’s daily update on the A( H1N1) pandemic as of Sept. 3 stated that “ 20 new fatal cases have been reported in the Philippines since the country last accounted for only eight deaths on July 29.”
The ECDC’s daily updates offer statistics of A( H1N1) confirmed cases and deaths in countries and territories belonging to the European Union and/ or covered by the European Free Trade Agreement. The number of deaths for selected countries, including the Philippines and seven other Southeast Asian countries, was included in the report.
There were no figures for cases in nonEuropean countries and territories.
Herrera pointed out that the statistics on the non-European countries were based by the ECDC on “ official information provided by national public health websites, or through other official communication channels.”
The daily updates may be viewed at the ECDC website ( http:// ecdc. europa. eu/ en/ healthtopics/ Pages/ Pandemic_% 28H1N1% 29_ 2009_ Daily_ Update. aspx). The INQUIRER checked the latest posted daily report, dated Sept. 5, which still placed the number of fatalities in the Philippines at 28.
Figure could be higher
The former senator expressed concern that the actual number of A( H1N1) deaths in the country could possibly be higher than reported. He noted that Thailand and Malaysia, which both have superior surveillance of the disease, have already reported dozens of deaths.
The ECDC’s latest daily update listed a total of 262 confirmed A( H1N1) deaths in Southeast Asia, broken down as follows: Thailand, 130; Malaysia, 73; the Philippines, 28; Singapore, 17; Indonesia, 10; Vietnam, two; and Brunei and Laos, one each.
Globally, the ECDC said A( H1N1) had already claimed a total of 3,315 lives, according to the ECDC report.
The TUCP has been urging corporations to adopt “ workplace continuity plans” to assure workers “ the least possible interruption to their jobs and income” as the virus spreadsmore aggressively.
Herrera also earlier urged the Department of Health ( DOH) to resume its weekly disclosure of confirmed A( H1N1) cases “ to keep the public in an elevated state of readiness” in dealing with the potentially faster spread of the virus. He cited the need to put “ everyone in a constant high state of alertness, particularly in avoidance.”
The DOH recently ceased testing and reporting individual cases of A( H1N1), after the World Health Organization ( WHO) stopped compelling countries to do so.
On Sunday, Herrera urged the DOH to consider routinely divulging to the public “ at least the number of A( H1N1) cases admitted to hospitals and intensive care units, just like what health authorities are doing in other countries.”
Malacañang on Friday ordered the DOH to establish extra laboratories in public hospitals “ to effectively manage” A( H1N1) cases. It also instructed the DOH to heighten themonitoring of the A( H1N1) virus and improve coordinationwith theWHOfor real time exchange of information on the disease.
The WHO has warned governments around the world of an imminent surge in A( H1N1) cases. It said countries could see cases double every three to four days for severalmonths, and “ it is certain there will be more deaths.”