MANILA — (UPDATED) The number of the novel coronavirus cases in the Philippines continued to increase on Thursday, with 71 new infections reported, bringing the countrywide total to 707, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.
“Pitong kababayan naman natin ang naitalang pumanaw dahil sa virus,” Duque also said, raising the overall fatalities in the country to 45.
(Seven more Filipinos passed away due to the virus.)
Two more patients recovered from COVID-19, making the total number of recoveries 28.
The two recoveries include PH112, a 41-year-old Filipino male from Makati City who recently traveled to Japan and was exposed to a known COVID-19 case. He experienced symptoms on March 9, tested positive on March 14 and was discharged on March 21.
The other patient who recovered is PH28, a 69-year-old Filipino male from Marikina City who was exposed to a COVID-19 patient. He experienced symptoms on February 29 and tested positive for COVID-19 on March 10. He was discharged from the hospital on March 22.
Meanwhile, the 7 fatalities are as follows:
- PH278, a 72-year-old Filipino female from San Juan City with no recent travel or exposure to COVID-19. She died on March 25, five days after testing positive for COVID-19. She had hypertension and colon cancer and her recorded cause of death were septic shock, severe pneumonia and COVID-19.
- PH540, a 50-year-old Filipino male from Pasig City with no travel or exposure history. The patient, who had diabetes, died on March 20 due to acute respiratory failure and pneumonia. But his test results arrived 4 days after he died.
- PH636 is a 56-year-old Filipino male from Pampanga who also does not have travel or exposure history. The patient, who has hypertension, died on March 24 but was only confirmed as a COVID-19 case on March 25. His cause of death are acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) secondary to COVID-19 pneumonia and acute respiratory failure.
- PH600, an 87-year-old Filipino male from Sultan Kudarat who did not recently travel abroad. The patient, who had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), died on March 14 but his test results were released 10 days later. His official cause of death was listed as COPD on top of pneumonia and COVID-19.
- PH354, an 80-year-old Filipino female from Rizal with “unknown travel and exposure history. She died on March 13 due to acute coronary syndrome or congestive heart failure and severe acute respiratory infection. She was only confirmed as a COVID-19 case on March 20, 7 days after her death.
- PH327, a 46-year-old Filipino male from Laguna with no travel history. The patient, who had hypertension and renal disease, died on March 15 due to acute myocardial infarction or heart attack and coronary artery disease. He was only confirmed positive for COVID-19 on March 21.
- PH321 is a 46-year-old Filipino male from Rizal with no travel or exposure history. The patient, who was hypertensive, tested positive for COVID-19 on March 21. He died on March 23 due to acute respiratory disease secondary to pneumonia and COVID-19.
Duque said the number of cases is expected to increase because of the increased testing capacity of the country’s laboratories.
He said it was important to immediately identify and isolate those who are infected.
The Philippine government has imposed an enhanced community quarantine on Luzon, suspending public transportation and other services, in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19.