(UPDATE) THE Department of Health (DoH) believes that Covid-19 cases in the country have become "manageable" as the disease has been taken off the list of the top causes of death.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that Covid-19 was the 11th leading cause of death nationwide from January to September 2022, with 13,883 fatalities reported.

It was the third top killer in the same period in 2021.

Health Officer in Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire. Photo from DOH FB page
Health Officer in Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire. Photo from DOH FB page
Health Officer in Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire. Photo from DOH FB page

Health Officer in Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the decrease in the number of deaths meant that the country is now able to manage Covid-19 infections.

"This is good news, because it signifies that there are only fewer deaths due to Covid and we were able to prevent further deaths from the disease," Vergeire said at a news briefing.

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Deaths from Covid-19 with the virus not identified was the 19th leading cause of death, with 4,134 fatalities reported, down from eighth place in 2021.

Despite the concern aired by World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebyeresus on the rising number of deaths worldwide, Vergeire remained confident that the country can better manage its health care utilization rate now.

"Our hospitals are now better prepared and have the capacity to respond, which enabled them to have more manageable cases and having less severe and critical admissions," she said.

Although Covid-19 cases have dipped, the official said that the government will remain vigilant and cautious to prevent another surge.

"We will always be conscious about deaths, that is why we are better prepared to prevent the situation in the country," Vergeire said. "Experts and evidence are now showing that the combination of natural immunity and immunity from vaccines are protecting globally."

With the leading causes of death in the country back to their "previous trends," the Health chief urged the public to promote healthy behaviors and lifestyles.

The PSA report identified the top five causes as ischemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease or strokes, cancer, diabetes and hypertension, which are all noncommunicable diseases.

"Let us practice a healthy lifestyle and healthy behavior so that we can prevent deaths due to these diseases," Vergeire said.