Philippines logs 163 new COVID-19 cases, total at 13,597

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 22 2020 04:40 PM | Updated as of May 22 2020 07:08 PM

Residents selected for testing gather at the Baclaran Elementary School as local authorities enforce a reasonable calibrated lockdown of 10 major streets in Barangay Baclaran, Parañaque City on May 21, 2020, in an attempt to prevent spread of COVID-19. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The Department of Health on Friday announced 163 new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the Philippines, bringing the total cases in the country to 13,597.

This is the lowest number of new cases reported in 13 days, according to the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group.

Of the new cases, 91 (56%) came from the National Capital Region, 56 (34%) from Region 7 and 16 (10%) from other regions.

While NCR has been topping the list of regions with the most COVID-19 cases, Central Visayas has been recording a relatively high number this month because of smaller outbreaks in Cebu City and other areas.

The Department of Health said it has been monitoring the said clusters.

Metro Manila, large parts of Central Luzon and Laguna province are under modified enhanced community quarantine until May 31, in a bid to slow down the spread of the respiratory disease as these areas were considered high-risk.

Meanwhile, Cebu City and its neighboring city of Mandaue remained under ECQ. Earlier this month, new COVID-19 cases in Central Visayas surpassed that of the National Capital Region because of outbreaks inside jails and some villages. While experts say NCR is still the epicenter of the epidemic, Cebu has become a hotspot.

The DOH also announced on Friday there were 92 new patients who recovered from COVID-19 or a total of 3,092 recoveries.

“Kasama po sa mga naitalang naka-recover ay ang mga pasyenteng naka-confine, at mga pasyenteng may positive mild at asymptomatic cases na naka-recover mula sa kanilang self-isolation at home quarantine,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a televised briefing. 

(Included in the tally of recoveries are patients who were confined and patients who were positive but were considered mild and asymptomatic cases and have recovered from their self-isolation and home quarantine.)

DOH also recorded 11 new COVID-related deaths — the highest in 6 days — or a total of 857 fatalities.

This means there are 9,648 active cases (71% of total cases) remaining.

Worldwide, 5.1 million people have been infected by COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. Of those, 1.96 million have already recovered and 333,000 have died.