Philippines logs 350 new COVID-19 cases, highest since April 6; total at 14,669

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 26 2020 04:51 PM | Updated as of May 26 2020 09:07 PM

MANILA (UPDATE) — The Philippines on Tuesday said it has logged 350 new cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the highest in the last 50 days or since April 6, bringing the country's cumulative total to 14,669.

It also recorded 89 new recoveries, raising the number of recovered patients to 3,412.

“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.)

The death toll is up by 13 to 886.

During the briefing, Dr. Takeshi Nishijima, technical officer of the World Health Organization - Western Pacific Regional Office, reminded Filipinos to continue to practice physical distancing, proper hygiene and coughing etiquette.

“In the Philippines, we have seen the new number of cases which is kind of stabilized a bit. We are hoping that it will decrease in the future,” Nishijima said.

The past several days though have seen an increase in new cases although it is unclear if it is because of actual increase in COVID-19 patients or improved validation by the Department of Health.

While there are 14,669 confirmed COVID-19 cases, there are actually 21,585 individuals who tested positive from COVID-19 on Monday. This could mean almost 7,000 cases may be added in the country’s list of confirmed cases.

The number of samples tested by DOH-accredited laboratories have also gone down recently, with more than 5,000 samples tested on Monday and the day before. This is only half of the daily testing done in mid-May. The DOH situationer did not show results or reports though for May 25 from a couple of listed testing laboratories.

Metro Manila, large parts of Central Luzon and Laguna province are under modified enhanced community quarantine until May 31 in an effort to slow down the spread of COVID-19.

Cebu City and its neighboring city of Mandaue, in the Central Visayas region, remain under ECQ. While the National Capital Region is considered the epicenter of the disease, Cebu has been tagged as a hotspot.

The DOH did not specify on Tuesday how many cases came from those areas.

Nearly 5.5 million people worldwide have been infected with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus dashboard. More than 2.2 million of them have already recovered, although almost 350,000 have died.