COVID-19 cases in PH up by 111 to 6,710; recoveries up by 39

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 22 2020 04:40 PM | Updated as of Apr 22 2020 10:49 PM

MANILA — The Philippines' health department announced on Wednesday 111 new COVID-19 cases in the country, bringing the total to 6,710.

Of that number, 693 patients have recuperated as 39 new recoveries were recorded.

The death toll, meanwhile, rose by 9 to 446.

The sum of new COVID-19 cases is the lowest single-day tally since April 8 when the country recorded 106 new cases.

Wednesday's report on 9 new fatalities is also the first time since the first week of April when new deaths were in single digits for two consecutive days, according to the ABS-CBN Data Analytics Team.

The number of recoveries has seen a substantial increase since the DOH said it started including in the tally those who recovered after undergoing home quarantine and receiving a negative test result.

Notably, the number of tests being conducted in the country has gone down since last week after the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) scaled down its operations due to a surge in the number of its employees infected with COVID-19.

The RITM, the national reference laboratory for emerging infectious disease, has the largest testing capacity out of the 17 laboratories accredited to run COVID-19 tests.

Despite this, the DOH has said that the doubling time of COVID-19 cases has improved and is expected to improve.

As of Tuesday, 61,049 individuals have been tested for COVID-19 in the Philippines. Of this number, 7,797 or 21.77% tested positive and 53,147 or 87.06% tested negative.

The health official said the number of people who tested positive is higher than the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, because they will still have to undergo validation.

During the televised briefing, Vergeire also presented two diagrams showing how certain COVID-19 patients are connected to the other patients. She said it showed contact tracing and how the virus possibly could have possibly spread to different areas.

“Ito ay gusto namin ipakita para mas maunawaan po ng ating mga kababayan kung bakit kailangan bahay muna,” she said.

(We want to show this because we want to show our citizens why they need to stay at home.)

Worldwide, there have been 2.5 million people infected with COVID-19, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus dashboard. Of those, more than 680,000 have recovered and almost 180,000 have died.