MANILA — (UPDATED) The Philippines' number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases surged to 552 on Tuesday, the Department of Health announced, amid growing clamor for a mass testing to determine how many Filipinos are really infected.
DOH reported an additional 90 new cases, a new daily high, as Luzon remained on lockdown in a bid to prevent the spread of the virus.
Of the total tally, two new patients have recovered, identified as PH130 and PH87, DOH said in its bulletin.
PH 130, a 21-year-old Filipino female from Davao de Oro who recently traveled to the United Kingdom and Qatar, was confined at the Davao Regional Medical Center, experienced symptoms on March 3 and was confirmed positive for COVID-19 on March 15. The patient, who has bronchial asthma, was discharged from the hospital on March 23 after testing negative of COVID-19.
The other recovery is PH87, a 76-year-old Filipino female from Quezon City who was exposed to a relative who contracted COVID-19 after visiting the United States. She was confined at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City, first experienced symptoms on February 25. She was confirmed positive for COVID-19 on March 14 and was discharged from the hospital on March 22. She is both hypertensive and diabetic.
This brings the total number of recoveries to 20.
Two more deaths were however reported, bringing the total number of fatalities to 35.
The first fatality is PH215, a 71-year-old Filipino male from Quezon City who did not recently travel abroad or had exposure to a COVID-19 patient. The patient, who had hypertension and diabetes, tested positive for COVID-19 on March 18 and died on March 24 due to sever pneumonia, hypertensive cardiovascular disease and cardiac dysrhythmia.
The other fatality is PH239, a 76-year-old Filipino male from Cavite who also does not have known exposure to a COVID-19 patient. The patient, who did not also travel abroad recently, was diabetic. He died on March 14 but only tested positive for COVID-19 on March 20. His cause of death was recorded as heart failure, community-acquired pneumonia, myocardial infarction or heart attack, acute respiratory failure and COVID-19.
By the numbers
Out of the 552 total cases in the Philippines, 322 (nearly 60 percent of the total) were reported in the last 4 days.
In total, 28 of the 35 patients who died were male patients. That's 80 percent (4 out of 5 who died). In addition, 25 of the 35 patients who died were senior citizens.
The Philippines is under a state of calamity as the government continues to find ways to contain the disease, described by the World Health Organization as a global pandemic.
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.
According to the Johns Hopkins University, there are now 381,000 COVID-19 cases worldwide. Of that number, 101,000 have recovered and 16,000 have died. - With reports from Edson Guido, ABS-CBN News