Junshi Biosciences and Coherus Receive Complete Response Letter from U.S. FDA for Toripalimab BLA

– The CRL requests a quality process change Junshi Biosciences and Coherus believe is readily addressable – – BLA resubmission anticipated by mid-summer 2022 with expected six month FDA review timeline – – Onsite inspections in China, impeded to date by COVID-19-related travel restrictions, are required for FDA’s completion of BLA review – – Toripalimab will be the first and […]

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PH logs daily average of 200 Covid-19 cases from April 25-May 1

The country’s daily average Covid-19 cases went down to 200 from April 25 to May 1 or 5 percent lower than the new infections prior to the week in review, the Department of Health (DOH) reported Monday. In its latest case bulletin, the DOH said there are 1,399 new cases of the coronavirus in the recent week. For the same period, there were no cases added to the tally of severe and critical infections, which stood at 723. Only 16.1 percent or 456 out of the 2,830 intensive care unit…

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Party-list group assures driver insurance, fuel subsidy

A drivers’ party-list group has vowed to push for the continuation of insurance and fuel subsidy to drivers if reelected into Congress in the May 9 elections. In a press briefing Sunday evening, Dumper PTDA (Drivers United for Mass Progress and Equal Rights – Philippines Taxi Drivers Association) Rep. Claudine Diana Bautista-Lim said they are proposing the institutionalization of insurance and subsidies for the transport sector. Lim said the proposed measure is part of the Magna Carta for Public Transportation Drivers Bill, which her party will advocate for the next…

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PNP-IMEG nabs ‘gunrunner’ cop in Bacolod City

A police was arrested Sunday for allegedly selling an undocumented firearm in Bacolod City. In a statement Monday, Brig. Gen. Oliver Enmodias, chief of the Philippine National Police-Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (PNP-IMEG), identified the suspect as Staff Sgt. Gerwin Catolico who is assigned at the Bacolod City Police Office. Catolico was arrested in an entrapment at Barangay Estefania around 10:40 a.m. for violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act and the Omnibus Election Code. Citing Enmodias’ report, PNP chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos said…

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More cops up for deployment to secure Samar polls

The Philippine National Police (PNP) regional office will send on Wednesday additional 100 policemen to help ensure peace and order in Samar, comprising the fourth batch of cops deployed in the province for election duties. PNP Eastern Visayas Regional Director Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said the deployment is crucial as they step up their efforts on securing the vote counting machines, precincts, and election-related activities. “We want to ensure that no untoward incidents or election-related incidents happen in Eastern Visayas, particularly in Samar. We have a task ahead to keep…

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MILF declares support for ‘RoSa’ tandem

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) said Monday it is backing the candidacy of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte as vice president, days after the group also declared support for the presidential bid of Vice President Leni Robredo. “Yes, the MILF is supporting Mayor Sara Duterte’s vice presidential bid,” lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, secretary-general of the United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP), the MILF’s political group, said in a statement Monday. Sinarimbo’s statement came after MILF chief Ahod “Murad’ Ebrahim, also UBJP president, bared to reporters last week that the party is…

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Over 88K infants protected vs. vaccine-preventable diseases: DOH

A total of 88,405 infants who are 0 to 23 months old have been vaccinated against vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs) in April, a health official said Monday. The infants from 36 areas nationwide got vaccinated last April 28 to 29, during the Chikiting Bakunation Days, an annual vaccination drive that aims to reach at least one million children who have missed out and are yet to receive any routine vaccine on World Immunization Week. “Nakapagturok po tayo ng first, second and third doses ng penta vaccine gayundin po ng PCV [pneumococcal…

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Bacolod cops nab 4, seize over P3-M shabu in separate buy-busts

Drug enforcement teams of Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) arrested four persons and seized PHP3.06 million worth of suspected shabu in two separate buy-busts over the weekend, reports on Monday showed. On Sunday, Christian Oliveros, 21, a high-value individual (HVI), was apprehended by operatives of the City Drug Enforcement Unit (CDEU) in Purok Lampirong, Barangay 2. At around 12:43 a.m., the suspect, who is a resident of Barangay 35, sold prohibited substance worth PHP1,000 to an undercover policeman, the report said. Oliveros also yielded 14 transparent plastic sachets and three…

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Cebu-bound P14-M smuggled cigarettes seized in Zambo City

Government agents seized some PHP14 million Cebu-bound worth of smuggled cigarettes and arrested two persons during an anti-smuggling operation here, a top police official said Monday. Col. Alexander Lorenzo, Zamboanga City Police Office (ZCPO) director, said the smuggled cigarettes were intercepted around 1:50 a.m. Sunday in front of the ZCPO Station 4 office along Maria Clara Lorenzo Lobregat (MCLL) Highway in Barangay Culianan. Lorenzo said the operation was launched after they received information regarding the shipment of the smuggled items, which consisted of 400 master cases concealed in ice cases…

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Danao is new PNP deputy chief for ops

Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao, the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) No. 4 man as chief of the PNP Directorial Staff, will take over as Deputy Chief of Operations (DCO) officer-in-charge while retaining his current post, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año confirmed Monday. Danao is replacing Lt. Gen Ferdinand Divina who reached his mandatory retirement age of 56 on May 2, six days before the scheduled retirement of PNP chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos. Año said for now, Danao would assume the post vacated by Divina in an acting capacity pending President Rodrigo Duterte’s…

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No more reason to keep Leila in jail: VP Leni

Vice President and presidential aspirant Leni Robredo called for the release of detained Senator Leila de Lima following witnesses taking back their testimonies. In a statement on Monday, Robredo said in the five-year detention of de Lima, not a single gram of illegal drugs or other documentary evidence have been brought against the senator. “Patunay lang ito ng katotohanang matagal ko nang iginigiit: Walang kaso laban kay Sen. Leila de Lima. Ang tanging kasalanan niya ay ang magsabi ng totoo at ipagtanggol ang karapatan ng mga kapwa natin Pilipino (This…

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PH April manufacturing index highest in over 4 years

The further easing of pandemic restrictions pushed the country’s manufacturing performance in April 2022 to its peak in 53 months, SandP Global Philippines Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) reported Monday. Philippine producers’ PMI hit 54.3 in April this year from a score of 53.2 in March. Manufacturing performance last month was the highest since November 2017, reflecting a solid improvement in overall operating conditions. SandP Global said the improvement in manufacturing conditions was supported by increased output and new orders, up for three straight months. “As client demand strengthened, both…

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Duterte believes destiny will determine candidates’ fate

President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday night admitted he is unsure if his son, Davao City (1st District) Rep. Paolo Duterte, will be elected to another three-year term. The younger Duterte will be up against three independent candidates — Maria Victoria Maglana, who brands herself as a peace and development advocate, businessman Jamal Ranon Kanan, and Jovanie Mantawel. “Iyong congressman ko na anak, si Paolo, ewan ko kung manalo ngayon depende sa…eh talaga akong naniniwala ako ng destiny (My congressman son, Paolo, I don’t know if he will be reelected, it…

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Flip-flopping witnesses liable for perjury, DOJ cautions

The Department of Justice (DOJ) will take up with prosecutors the move by a former prison official to recant his statements that implicated jailed Senator Leila de Lima in the illegal drug trade. DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Monday two conflicting claims under oath potentially make a declarant liable for perjury. “I have not seen Ragos’ alleged recantation, but note this. When a person willfully declares a false statement under oath and another statement under oath nullifying the other sworn statement, one of these statements is obviously untrue and subjects…

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PNP denies red-tagging progressive solon

The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday denied the alleged red-tagging of individuals and groups, particularly Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate. This, following reports of a tarpaulin displayed in front of the Capas Municipal Police Station in Tarlac that prompted Zarate to issue a statement condemning the alleged red-tagging linking his name to the communist terrorist organization Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA). PNP chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos said police have no control over who mounted the tarpaulin especially since it was placed on the outer portion…

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Clark airport’s new terminal building officially opens

The Clark International Airport (CRK) on Monday officially soft-launched its new terminal building with a ceremonial water cannon salute to the first departing and arriving flights from Jetstar Asia and Cebu Pacific Air. Operated by the Luzon International Premiere Airport Development Corp., the new CRK Terminal is a joint project of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority. This is the first hybrid public-private partnership under the “Build, Build, Build” (BBB) program started and completed during the Duterte administration. The lights of Jetstar 3K 779…

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On Eid’l Fitr, BARMM residents urged to embrace moral governance

Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Chief Minister Ahod “Murad” Ebrahim has called on constituents to embrace moral governance as the Muslim faithful celebrate Eid’l Fitr or the culmination of Ramadan Monday. Speaking during the congregational prayer at the BARMM center here, Ebrahim said heeding the call for “moral governance” is supporting governance anchored on Islamic morality and spirituality. “I ask all of you to support moral governance so our struggle for self-determination will truly succeed,” he said in the vernacular. He said the moral governance that the Moro…

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PRRD exhorts Muslims to remain models of goodwill, compassion

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday called on the Filipino-Muslim community to not only be models of the Islamic faith, but also of “goodwill and compassion for all of humanity”. In his Eid’l Fitr message, Duterte greeted Filipinos-Muslims around the world Eid Mubarak (blessed feast) and wished them a meaningful celebration. He expressed hope that Muslims now feel “refreshed” and have “renewed” strength during the festive conclusion of the holy month of Ramadan. “May this event inspire you to remain models not only of the Islamic faith, but also of goodwill…

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Active Covid-19 cases in Caraga down to 14

Active coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in the Caraga Region slid down to 14 as of the April 24-30 period, the regional health department office said Monday. In a report, the Department of Health in Caraga (DOH-13) said the decrease came after six of 20 Covid-19 patients logged in the previous week have recovered from the disease. Of the 20 cases last week, nine new Covid-19 infections were tallied, bringing the total cumulative number of cases in the region to 58,860. The new cases were listed in Agusan del Sur…

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Brace up for skyrocketing oil prices, PRRD warns successor

The next administration will bear the brunt of increasing oil prices brought by the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, President Rodrigo R. Duterte said Sunday. Duterte, in his speech in Clark, Pampanga, warned his successor to brace up for the possibility that escalating tensions between the two countries could cause skyrocketing oil prices. “Talagang magdaan tayo ng hirap kaya nagpasalamat ako sa Diyos na magtapos na ako. Bilisan na lang niya ang mga araw kasi kawawa talaga itong susunod tingnan ninyo. Hindi na hihinto ‘yan. (We are really going suffering to suffer…

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JV Ejercito wants specialized healthcare centers in Cebu

Senatorial candidate Jose Victor “JV” Ejercito on Monday said he will work for the establishment of lung, kidney, heart, and cancer centers in Cebu that will cater to the specialized healthcare needs of the residents in the Central Visayas region. Ejercito told reporters in a press conference here that he is the principal sponsor and author of Republic Act 11223 or the Universal Health Care (UHC) Act of 2019 which, apart from the mandatory coverage in the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), also mandates the establishment of 16 specialty centers.…

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CAR steps up surveillance after being declared malaria-free

The Department of Health in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) on Monday said malaria regulation hubs have been established to improve the region’s surveillance against the disease. The entire CAR was earlier declared malaria-free, with the addition of Apayao which achieved the status last year or a full year after Ifugao and Kalinga provinces were declared malaria-free as well. “Dapat at least five consecutive years na walang single case na ma-record bago ma-declare na malaria-free ang isang lugar (An area should have no recorded malaria cases for five consecutive years…

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BBM, Sara still frontrunners in Pulse Asia’s April survey

Exactly a week before the May 9 elections, former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte the frontrunner among the presidential and vide-presidential candidates, respectively, in the latest survey of Pulse Asia released Monday. Based on the survey conducted from April 16 to 21, 2022, Marcos obtained 56 percent of 2,400 respondents, which is the same rating he got from the survey last March. Trailing behind is Vice President Leni Robredo with 23 percent, dropping 1 percent from the previous survey. Senator Manny Pacquiao grabbed the…

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Sara vows not to run for any local position after VP race

Whether she wins or loses the vice presidential race in the May 9 elections, Mayor Sara Z. Duterte said Sunday she will no longer return to local politics. In a speech during the Dumper PTDA (Drivers United for Mass Progress and Equal Rights–Philippines Taxi Drivers Association) party-list grand rally here, Mayor Sara thanked the Dabawenyos for their support during her stint as the city’s local chief executive. “To all the Dabawenyos, I will now say goodbye to all of you. I will no longer run for any local positions, whatever…

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3.6K Kapampangan students to benefit from work immersion program

At least 3,600 senior high school students here would be given an opportunity to get exposed to relevant experiences and skills needed in their chosen fields. This, after the Department of Education Schools Division Office (SDO) of the City of San Fernando partnered with the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (PamCham) for a work immersion program wherein Grade 12 students will be assigned to actual workplaces to enrich their competencies. Francis Dominic De Guzman, SDO-City of San Fernando education program specialist, said on Monday through the work immersion…

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6ID deploys 400 recruits as peacekeepers in C. Mindanao

The Army’s 6th Infantry Division here started Monday the deployment of 422 newly-enlisted soldiers to different battalions in Central Mindanao. This came after the closing ceremonies for Candidate Soldier Course (CSC) Classes 673, 674, and 675 were held amid drizzles Sunday at the 6th Division Training School, Barangay Semba, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao. Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, Army’s 6ID commander, said the recruits will be deployed to help the Army’s peace advocacy and programs throughout its area of operation. “I expect you to be sturdy, hardworking, and passionate. Remember that…

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Region 8 caravan highlights Duterte admin accomplishments

The Philippine National Police (PNP) regional office hosted the simultaneous Grand Duterte Legacy caravan held on Labor Day in Eastern Visayas seeking to raise public awareness of the major accomplishments of the administration of President Rodrigo R. Duterte. Each city or provincial police office partnered with other government agencies to deliver goods and services on Sunday that benefited around 5,547 individuals in six provinces and seven cities. “The conduct of the grand caravan is not a culmination of programs and projects of the present administration per se but rather an…

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‘Meager’ oil price rollback expected this week

Oil firms will implement a rollback on fuel products starting Tuesday. In separate advisories, Caltex, Cleanfuel, Petro Gazz, PTT Philippines, Seaoil, and Shell announced they will cut diesel prices by PHP1.15 per liter and gasoline prices by PHP0.65 per liter. Caltex, Seaoil, and Shell will also decrease the prices of kerosene by PHP1.15 per liter. Oil companies will give rollback after increments for the past two weeks, with a big-time price hike last Tuesday. With the price increase last week, petroleum prices for the past four months stood at a…

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MDDA seen as better version of MMDA

The newly created Metro Davao Development Authority (MDDA) will be an improved version of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), according to the latter’s former chief, Sen. Francis Tolentino. Tolentino said in an online show Monday that the MMDA was created to address congestion and other mutual problems encountered by local government units (LGUs) in the National Capital Region, unlike the MDDA which preempts future problems in Metro Davao. The MMDA also has police authority to consider in implementing peace and order while the Metro Davao Police Force will have…

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PH still in talks with COVAX on near-expiry jabs replacement

The national government is still in talks with the COVAX Facility about the replacement of 3.6 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines that are nearing expiry. In an online media forum Monday, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the government has to “fill out some documents so the COVAX Facility can continue studying the request for replacement.” “Meron silang binigay na Demand Forecast Tool na amin pong sinasagawa ngayon at isa-submit (They gave a Demand Forecast Tool which we’re implementing now and we’ll submit) as soon as possible this week, so…

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New facility to serve as alternate center during disasters

The government has set up a command and control center in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija which would serve as an alternate post in times of disasters. Inaugurated on April 29, the center houses a supply warehouse for disaster response, an alternate command-and-operation center for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and the mobile communications system that would support the command and control. “This is in compliance to the President’s directive to build alternate command posts in preparation for any catastrophe (such as an earthquake triggered by the…

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DOH, LGUs partner for ‘last mile’ vaccination in Cordillera

The Department of Health in the Cordillera Administrative Region (DOH-CAR) has gone into the “last mile” phase of its vaccination campaign as it attempts to downgrade all provinces in the region to an Alert Level 1 by vaccinating more people against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). In a phone interview on Monday, Dr. Amelita Pangilinan, assistant regional director of the DOH-Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and the agency’s spokesperson, said its “Oplan Alert Level 1” aims to bring the vaccine and the vaccination program to the farthest places in the municipalities…

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Increased tourist arrivals seen with more flights via Clark

The Department of Tourism (DOT) is seeing a boost in tourist arrivals in the coming months as Clark International Airport added more flights in its new passenger terminal beginning May 2. Dubbed as a new world-class gateway, Clark International Airport’s new passenger terminal building will serve both domestic and international flights. Two of South Korea’s largest low-cost airlines were among the new air carriers added to the list of airlines that would be operating direct flights from Clark. The popular Jeju Air will launch its Incheon-CRK-Incheon route every Thursday and…

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Eid al-Fitr time to promote social healing: Defense chief

This year’s celebration of Eid al-Fitr is a time to promote social healing and reconciliation as the country prepares to usher in its next batch of leaders, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Monday. “The observance of this year’s Eid al-Fitr this year is made more significant as the whole nation prepares for the ushering in of a new leadership. This is an appropriate time to promote the spirit of love, reconciliation and social healing among Filipinos of all faiths,” Lorenzana said in a statement. This year’s…

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Malacañang respects court’s disposition on de Lima cases

Malacañang on Monday said it would respect the handling of a Muntinlupa court on cases against detained opposition Senator Leila de Lima after a star witness retracted his statements accusing her of involvement in the illegal drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP). In a sworn affidavit dated April 30, former Bureau of Corrections (Bucor) Officer-in-Charge Rafael Ragos retracted his allegations that he delivered money to de Lima. “I now hereby declare and make known to the whole world that there is no truth whatsoever to any of these…

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3 weather systems to bring rains over parts of PH

Three weather systems will bring rains over parts of the country, the weather bureau said Monday. In its 4 a.m. weather bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) affecting Mindanao and a low pressure area (LPA) will bring scattered rain showers and thunderstorms over Caraga, Davao Region and Soccsksargen. The LPA was last tracked 40 kilometers south southwest of General Santos City. “It has a slim chance of developing into a tropical cyclone, but it will bring rains over parts of…

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Spoiled ‘bihon’ downs 108 SoCot town residents

At least 108 people were rushed to their community hospital for suspected food poisoning in upland Lake Sebu, South Cotabato, a town official said Monday. Roberto Bagong, the Lake Sebu disaster risk reduction and management council (MDRRMC) action officer, said the food poisoning victims are from the remote areas of Barangays Tasiman and Lamfugon. Bagong said at least 20 of the victims were children who probably ate food brought home by their parents after attending a gathering Sunday afternoon. Local rescue teams, assisted by emergency response teams from neighboring towns,…

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SSS offers relief to Zambo City’s struggling employers

The Social Security System (SSS) is offering the Pandemic Relief and Restructuring Program (PRRP) to local employers who are struggling to recover from economic losses due to the health pandemic. Ma. Salvacion Alam, SSS Mindanao West Division acting vice president, said Monday there are two restructuring programs – the Condonation of Penalties on Social Security (SS) contributions or the PRRP-2, and the Enhanced Installment Payment Program or PRRP-3 to help struggling employers. PRRP-2 aims to assist delinquent employers by condoning penalties imposed on unpaid SS contributions, thus, helping them resume…

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New Covid-19 cases lower than pre-Omicron wave

The number of new Covid-19 cases is lower compared to pre-Omicron variant waves late last year, a health official said Monday. In an online media forum, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the average daily reported cases for the week of April 26 to May 2 has gone down to 196 which is 9 percent lower than last week’s 215 cases. The lowest seven-day moving average in 2021 (December 18 to 24) prior to the Omicron subvariant wave was 254 cases per day. “Overall, the national positivity rate is still…

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