As cities relax quarantine controls, Philippines logs 552 more COVID-19 cases

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 01 2020 05:18 PM | Updated as of Jun 01 2020 07:57 PM

MANILA — The Department of Health on Monday reported 552 additional COVID-19 cases in the country, as health officials asserted the coronavirus outbreak is not getting worse while quarantine restrictions were eased.

Of this, 78 percent or 433 are “late cases” while 119 are “fresh cases.” The total number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines is now at 18,638.

“Hindi ito nangangahulugan na lumala na ang ating sitwasyon,” she said of the relatively high number of additional cases reported for the day.

(This does not mean that our situation is getting worse.)

Fresh cases refer to test results that were released and validated in the last 3 days, while the “late cases” are those that had test results that were validated late, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a televised briefing.

“Ito ang araw-araw na reports na sinusubmit ng laboratoryo pero ang test results ay matagal na,” she further explained.

(These are the daily reports being submitted by the laboratories but the test results are old.)

ABS-CBN News first reported about the widening gap between the number of individuals testing positive for COVID-19 and the recorded number of confirmed cases. The DOH explained then that it was because of the delayed validation. The DOH has since been working on expediting the validation.

But the re-classification of new COVID-19 cases — to allay fears that the outbreak is worsening — has caused confusion among the public, especially as Metro Manila and other areas eased business and transportation restrictions on Monday as areas shifted to a general community quarantine.

Of the 119 fresh cases, majority (94) came from the National Capital Region. Meanwhile, of the 433 late cases, 137 came from NCR, 98 came from Central Visayas, 182 came from other regions and 16 are repatriates.

Vergeire also explained that based on the date of onset of illness— instead of date of announcement—of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, the outbreak seems to be subsiding.

“Sa mga nakaraang araw, bagamat maraming narereport na late cases, kakaunti lang po ang maituturing na bagong kaso ng COVID-19,” she said, as a graph showing what seems to be both fresh and late cases based on date of onset of illness was flashed on the screen.

(During the past days, while we have been reporting a lot of late cases, only a few are considered new cases of COVID-19.)

Meanwhile, 70 new recoveries were reported, bringing the total number of recovered COVID-19 cases to 3,979. This is the lowest number of new recoveries reported in a day in 11 days.

Only 3 new deaths were recorded, with the total fatalities reaching 960. This is the lowest number of new deaths reported in a day since March 29.

Worldwide, almost 6.2 million people have been infected by COVID-19, according to the Johns Hopkins University. Of those, more than 2.6 million have already recovered and 370,000 have died.