MANILA — The Department of Health on Tuesday reported 359 additional coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases, bringing the total number of cases to 18,997.
DOH gave the update a day after Metro Manila and other parts of the country transitioned to a general community quarantine, which eased some business and transportation restrictions.
Of the additional cases, 176 are considered fresh cases or based on test results released and validated in the last 3 days. Meanwhile, 183 are considered late cases because of delayed validation.
For the fresh cases, majority (89 cases) came from Region 7 or Central Visayas while only 33 came from the National Capital Region. The remaining 54 are from other regions.
Meanwhile, the late cases came from various regions — with 39 from NCR, 8 from Region 7 and 111 from the other regions. Twenty-five were Filipino repatriates.
While NCR is still considered the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the Philippines, Cebu, which is also on GCQ, has been considered a hotspot because of the spike in cases last month.
The DOH also reported 84 new recoveries or a total of 4,063 recoveries. There were only 6 new deaths reported or a total of 966 COVID-related deaths. This is the fourth straight day that the DOH reported new deaths in single digits.
The re-classification of new cases has caused confusion among the public but the DOH has said it will revert back to the old case bulletin once it is done with the backlog in validation.
“Nais po naming ulitin at i-emphasize kaya namin hinati ito sa fresh at late cases ay para mas matutukan namin ang fresh cases na nagiindicate ng tunay na kalagayan ng ating bansa laban sa COVID-19,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a televised briefing.
(We want to reiterate and emphasize that the reason why we separated the fresh and late cases is to highlight fresh cases, which indicate the true situation of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.)
ABS-CBN earlier reported the widening gap between the number of positive individuals and confirmed cases, which means many test results are still not validated.
Vergeire had clarified that those for validation may include repeat tests and errors so it does not mean that the number of positive individuals, which reached 24,866 on Monday, is equivalent to the actual number of people in the Philippines with COVID-19.
She also said that all those who tested positive were already isolated and are being treated.
Vergeire said they gave laboratories up to Thursday to submit their line lists for validation by the Epidemiology Bureau. This is also being done as the DOH shifts to an automated data system that requires real-time submission of data from laboratories and hospitals.
Worldwide, more than 6.2 million people have already been infected with COVID-19 based on the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus dashboard. Of those, almost 2.7 million have already recovered and 375,000 have died.