DOH announces 15 new COVID-19 cases; total now at 217

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 19 2020 04:08 PM | Updated as of Mar 19 2020 04:23 PM

Vehicles pass through a special lane for cargo deliveries of basic goods in a checkpoint along the North Luzon Expressway during the enhanced community quarantine of Luzon on March 19, 2020. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The Department of Health on Thursday said there were 15 new cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), bringing Philippines' total to 217.

Meanwhile, another patient was reported to have recovered, bringing the total number of recoveries to 8.

The patient is a 48-year-old Filipino male from Cavite who recently traveled to Japan. PH20 was admitted at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) on March 7 and has been discharged from the hospital after testing negative for COVID-19 twice.

There are a total of 17 fatalities among the COVID-19 cases. The DOH clarified that the 16th fatality, PH57 is from Bulacan and not from Pasig City. The patient initially said he lived in Pasig City but, according to DOH, “upon further validation it was found that it is a family member of his who lives there."

The Philippines is under a state of calamity as the government imposed a Luzon-wide lockdown to contain the disease, described by the World Health Organization as a global pandemic after it killed nearly 8,000 and infected 197,000 others worldwide.

COVID-19 may be fatal for the elderly, the immunocompromised, and those with underlying medical condition but 80 percent of cases globally showed a high chance of recovery "without needing special treatment," according to the WHO. 

WHO said COVID-19 symptoms include fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea.