MANILA – The Philippines on Saturday registered 590 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, taking the nationwide total to 17,224, as the government looks to soften quarantine restrictions next week.
Out of the new cases, 252 are considered "fresh", or from within the past 3 days, while 338 at considered "late", or from four days ago or earlier.
In its latest bulletin, the Department of Health (DOH) reported 8 new fatalities, bringing the death toll to 950.
The number of people who have recovered from COVID-19 rose by 88 to 3,808, official figures showed. The Philippines has logged more recoveries from the COVID-19 since its outbreak in January.
Following a 2-month lockdown that halted much of the country's economic activity, the government will further ease restrictions, on a condition that people wear masks and follow physical distancing.
Metro Manila, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Central Visayas, Pangasinan province, Davao City and Zamboanga City will transition to general community quarantine (GCQ) starting June 1 until June 15. The rest of the country will be under modified GCQ.
Officials earlier said progress has been made on handling the crisis, touting low mortality rate and improving critical care capacity.
Having the one of the world's longest lockdowns, the government aims to restart the economy, which shrank for the first time since 1998.
The country's tally of infection is a relatively small number compared to other countries, but some experts are concerned that relaxing restrictions could court disaster.
Worldwide, the novel coronavirus has infected nearly 6 million people and killed 365,000, a running tally from the US-based Johns Hopkins University showed.