COVID-19 cases in PH swell to over 400, death toll climbs to 33

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 23 2020 04:56 PM | Updated as of Mar 23 2020 08:18 PM

MANILA (UPDATE) — The Philippines' health department reported on Monday the largest number so far of new cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in a single day at 82, raising the country's total tally to 462.

It also said that 8 more patients succumbed to the disease, bringing the total number of fatalities to 33.

The number of patients who recovered stood at 18.

The new recovery is PH73, a 54-year-old Filipino male from Manila, who recently traveled to Thailand and was exposed to a known COVID-19 case. He was hypertensive and first experienced symptoms on March 6. He tested positive on March 13 and was discharged on March 21.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, during a televised DOH briefing, said they are already studying the cases of those who have recovered to see what they have in common.

“In any illness, early detection is a factor so that the management of the patient is successful and there is a higher chance of recovery,” she said, adding that they would like to see the good practices of health workers in handling the 18 recoveries.

Meanwhile, all the 8 new fatalities are male — PH266, PH279, PH281, PH304, PH328, PH333, PH349, PH367. The youngest is 56 years old and the oldest is 89 years old. Most of them have pre-existing conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and hypertension.

A number of them died due to septic shock, pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome, which are often observed among severe COVID-19 cases.

Health officials have earlier warned that the number of cases in the country is expected to spike in the coming days as more tests are being conducted on probable patients.

As of Monday, 662 patients under investigation have tested negative for COVID-19 and were discharged from hospitals.

Since last week, the country's main island of Luzon has been on lockdown in an attempt to curb the spread of the disease.

The novel disease was first reported in China late last year and has spread to more than 180 countries and territories, based on the latest report of the World Health Organization. The global tally of the cases is nearing 300,000, with deaths of close to 13,000.