Pasay City gets 5,000 more Sinovac doses amid COVID-19 surge

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 2) — Pasay City will get 5,000 more vaccine doses from the donation of China's Sinovac Biotech, amid the surge in coronavirus cases in the city.

Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya made this announcement on Tuesday during the ceremonial vaccination of CoronaVac doses to the health workers of Pasay City General Hospital. He himself received the first shot in the immunization drive.

Malaya said that the 5,000 doses will go to the Pasay City General Hospital, apart from over 300 doses initially allocated to at least 100 medical and non-medical workers.

"Lahat po ng pangunahing local tertiary hospitals ay binibigyan natin ng bakuna para masimulan na ang local vaccination program...Magbibigay po ng karagdagang bakuna ang government sa Pasay City General Hospital," he said.

[Translation: All primary local tertiary hospitals are being provided with vaccines so we can start with the local vaccination program...the government will provide additional vaccines to Pasay City General Hospital.]

The Department of Health reported on Monday that the Philippines now has six cases of the South Africa variant, a more transmissible COVID-19 variant called B.1.351. Three of them were local cases in Pasay City.

The samples from the residents were collected between January 27 and February 13, 2021. Two of the local cases, a 61-year-old female and a 39-year-old male, are active cases being managed by Pasay City. The third local case, a 40-year-old male, has already recovered.

READ: PH finds six cases of COVID-19 variant detected in South Africa, more cases of UK variant and mutations 

Pasay City Mayor Emi Calixto Rubiano, who has recently recovered from COVID-19, was present in the ceremony via teleconferencing. She said that the local government is intensifying its efforts to control COVID-19 transmission in the city by implementing localized lockdowns in its villages.

However, contrary to the DOH report, she said there were four cases of the South Africa variant recorded in the city, but all have recovered to date.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in his briefing that Pasay City, along with Navotas and Malabon, have been classified as areas under "critical risk" in terms of healthcare utilization rate and average daily attack rate due to the uptick in COVID-19 cases.

Pasay City's public information office has reported 44 new COVID-19 cases as of Monday, adding to the 519 total active cases in the city. At least 8,142 cases have been recorded in Pasay since last year.