The Department of Health (DOH) today reported a decrease in the 2021 case fatality rate (CFR) among COVID-19 cases despite cases increasing by four-fold, comparing 2021 and 2020 cases.

The DOH data showed that the CFR of the country in 2021 was at 1.47% as compared to 2.47% in 2020. On the other hand, the DOH recorded a total case count of 472,205 at the end of 2020 versus a total of 1,929,711 from January 1 to September 21, 2021, which accounts to a 309% increase in cases in 2021 compared to 2020. Among all the regions, NCR which has the highest number of cases in 2021 had the lowest CFR at less than 1%.

“The decrease shown in the national case fatality rate was multifactorial. One of the factors that the Department is considering is the overall improvement of the country’s healthcare system over the past year and its ability to cope with the higher demand for clinical assessment, referral, and management of cases,”  said DOH Spokesperson Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

“The COVID-19 vaccination program also played a role in the decrease. Vaccines continue to provide the promised protection against more severe COVID-19 and deaths. Moreover, this was the effect of the strategies and behavioral-change campaigns implemented as early as August 2020 to mitigate the risk of transmission and slow down the spread of COVID-19,” explained Usec. Vergeire.

The DOH added that the CFR among senior citizens in 2021 was two times lower compared to 2020. The DOH said that the national government together with the local government units must continue to increase coverage among the A2 priority group to protect them from the severe form of COVID-19, leading to hospitalization and even deaths.