Philippines' COVID-19 cases soar past 13,000, majority remains 'active cases'

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 20 2020 04:34 PM | Updated as of May 20 2020 07:56 PM

Philippines' COVID-19 cases soar past 13,000, majority remains 'active cases' 1
Tricycle riders in Marikina City undergo mass testing using rapid test kits for COVID-19 on May 19, 2020 amid the modified enhanced community quarantine. The Marikina government aims to test around 6000 tricycle drivers until Friday, with thousands more workers in the manufacturing industry to follow, as more industries have been allowed to re-operate under MECQ. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — (UPDATED) Philippines now has 13,221 confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases, majority of which are considered active cases, the Department of Health (DOH) reported Wednesday. 

The DOH said there were 279 new cases, the highest reported daily number in the past 9 days, and announced hours after Health Secretary Francisco Duque told a Senate hearing that Philippines was already on the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Of the 13,221, 9,447 or 71.45 percent are considered active cases. These are patients who are still in the hospital or are undergoing home quarantine.


Of the 279 new cases, 150 (54 percent) are from the National Capital Region, 14 (5 percent) are from Region 7 or Central Visayas and 115 (41 percent) are from other regions. Earlier this month, a spike in COVID-19 cases was observed in Region 7 after a few outbreaks in jails and villages.

According to the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group (ABS-CBN IRG), the 115 new cases from other regions is considered a spike compared to just 33 new cases the day before.

“In the last 4 days, or from May 16-19, the number of new confirmed cases from regions outside of NCR and Region 7 accounted for only 15%-31% of total new confirmed cases nationwide. Today, the 115 new confirmed cases announced from said regions acounted for 41% of the total new confirmed cases nationwide,” ABS-CBN IRG said.

There are however 89 new recovered patients or a total of 2,932 recoveries. The DOH said there were 5 new COVID-related deaths or a total of 842 fatalities.

This is the lowest number of new fatalities since May 3. It is also the 4th straight day that the number of deaths had been below 10.

Metro Manila, large parts of Central Luzon and Laguna province are under modified enhanced community quarantine or modified ECQ until May 31, in a bid to slow down the spread of the respiratory disease.


The DOH said the public should continue to practice physical distancing and other precautionary measures to prevent another wave or spike in the number of COVID-19 cases.