Philippines confirms 208 new COVID-19 cases; total now at 12,513


Posted at May 17 2020 04:12 PM | Updated as of May 18 2020 12:41 AM

Philippines confirms 208 new COVID-19 cases; total now at 12,513 1

MANILA - (UPDATE) The Philippines reported 208 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Sunday bringing the country’s total to 12,513.

The Department of Health also reported 74 new recoveries, pushing the total number of Filipinos who recovered from the disease to 2,635.

Another 7 died from the illness, bringing COVID-19’s death toll in the Philippines to 824. 

The National Capital Region had the most number of new infections at 183, or 83 percent of all new cases, according to the DOH. The government recently placed Metro Manila under modified enhanced community quarantine, which allows more businesses to resume operations. 

The first day of the modified ECQ saw thousands of people going to malls, raising concerns on possible violations of physical distancing guidelines. 

On Saturday, at least 10 frontliners in Valenzuela City tested positive for COVID-19, leading Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian to again call for mass testing.

“Ito nakakatakot 'to kasi pumapasok itong mga frontliners natin. Mayroon na silang COVID sa katawan nila pero wala silang sakit whatsoever. So nakakatakot dahil pwede na silang umikot dahil nga binuksan na kahapon 'yung ekonomiya natin, puwede na rin sila pumunta sa mga malls because wala naman silang nararamdaman,” Gatchalian said in an interview with TV Patrol. 

(This is scary because our frontliners go to work. They have COVID but they have no symptoms whatsoever. So it’s scary because they can now move around because yesterday, the economy was reopened, they can also go to malls because they are not feeling sick.)

“Now we’re moving to ECQ to MECQ to GCQ, people are now traveling back and forth and around and to be honest about it the only way we can fight this is to increase the testing capabilities of the local government units to get them ready and set, pero hindi nangyayari 'yan (but that’s not happening)," he added.

The virus has so far infected more than 4.6 million around the world since it was first reported in Wuhan, China. More than 312,000 have died due to COVID-19 according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. 

In Southeast Asia, Singapore has recorded the most number of COVID-19 cases, as it tested extensively for the virus. The city-state has so far recorded 22 deaths. 

Indonesia has the second-highest number of confirmed infections at 17,514 but has also the most number of deaths at 1,148. 

The Philippines has the third-highest number of confirmed cases in Southeast Asia and the second-highest death toll. 

The United States has the most number of infections worldwide at more than 1.46 million. The US death toll from the disease is also the highest at over 88,000.