Philippines reports 1,438 fresh Covid cases

Philippines on Wednesday reported 1,438 new Covid-19 cases, pushing the country’s tally to 434,357.

Health officials said 232 more patients have recovered, raising the total number of recoveries to 399,005.

The death toll climbed to 8,436 after 18 more patients died from the viral disease, officials added.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday signed an order granting the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the Philippines the power to allow emergency use of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, Xinhua reported.

The executive order allows FDA Director-General Eric Domingo to issue emergency use authorization to drug and vaccine developers.

With the newly-signed order, a vaccine can be approved for use within a month instead of undergoing the usual six-month review period.

Meanwhile, National Task Force against Covid-19 chief Carlito Galvez told a forum that the Philippines may receive COVID-19 vaccine doses from manufacturers as early as the first quarter of 2021.

The Philippines aims to inoculate up to 70 million Filipinos in three to five years.