Sonny T. Mallari

LUCENA CITY—With the continued spike in COVID-19 cases in Calabarzon, at least 68 infected patients died in the region this month, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

Data from the Health Education and Promotion Unit of DOH-Calabarzon on Thursday, August 11, showed that there were 10 new COVID-19 fatalities in the region.

Cavite topped the list with 19 deaths this month. It was followed by Batangas (18), Laguna (18), Rizal (8) and Quezon, including Lucena City (5).

Last month, at least 89 COVID-19-infected patients died in the region.

The DOH-Calabarzon tallied 4,299 active COVID-19 cases as of Aug. 11, reflecting an increase from 733 on July 1, data showed.

The analytics group OCTA Research explained that the high COVID-19 positivity rate could be partly due to the public’s waning immunity against the viral disease.

The positivity rate refers to the percentage of tests that turn out positive for COVID-19. Above 20 percent is considered very high, OCTA said.

Dr. Guido David, an OCTA Research fellow, tagged the positivity rate in Laguna (33.2) as “very high.”

David said the positivity rates in Quezon (25.1), Cavite (21.1), and Rizal (18.8) are also serious concerns.

In Quezon province, the low rate of vaccination among qualified residents has been one of the factors that caused the continuous spread of COVID-19 infections, according to the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO).

The IPHO disclosed that as of Aug. 6, out of 34 confirmed COVID-19 patients and 66 probable and suspected cases confined at the Quezon Medical Center (QMC), “six of them are severe and critical”.

“Four of them had no COVID-19 vaccines while the other two had no clear vaccination history and had no booster dose,” the IPHO disclosed in a public advisory issued on Aug. 6.

As of Aug. 5, at least 1,049,233 residents in the province or 74.8% of the target population have been administered vaccines against COVID-19.

However, only 161,973 or 23.1% of the general population have received their first booster dose, way below the target 701,770.

The IPHO also reported that only 107,023 senior citizens from the target of 141,752 were fully vaccinated. But only 29,440 have received their first booster dose.

Governor Helen Tan, who is also a physician, urged unvaccinated residents to get their jabs for their safety and protection of the community. She also asked the public to remain vigilant in the battle against COVID-19.