MANILA — The Department of Health on Wednesday reported an additional 751 COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of coronavirus infections in the country to 19,748.
From the additional cases, 221 are “fresh cases” or those who had their test results released and validated in the last 3 days. Meanwhile, 70 percent or 530 are considered “late cases” or were validated and confirmed late.
The country also recorded 90 new recoveries or a total of 4,153 patients who got well.
Meanwhile, there were only 8 new COVID-related deaths or a total of 974 fatalities.
The DOH started using the new classification of additional cases last week after new cases spiked because of their more aggressive validation efforts. It has caused confusion among the public but the DOH explained that it is needed to better see the actual situation of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
It also coincided with the shift to general community quarantine in Metro Manila, considered the epicenter of the outbreak, and other areas as government eased business and transportation restrictions.
Of the 221 fresh cases, 68 came from National Capital Region, 102 came from Region 7 or Central Visayas, and 51 came from other regions.
Meanwhile, of the 530 late cases, 174 came from National Capital Region, 240 came from Region 7, and 105 came from other regions. There were also 11 Filipino repatriates included in the list.
“Ang mataas na late cases na galing sa Region 7 ay dahil kahapon lang po nakapag-submit ng accomplishment reports ang isa sa mga laboratoryo natin mula pa noong May 2,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a televised briefing.
(There are a lot of late cases coming from Region 7 because one of the COVID-19 laboratories there only submitted their accomplishment reports yesterday. The last time they submitted was May 2.)
ABS-CBN News earlier reported on the widening gap between positive individuals and confirmed cases, which meant that thousands of tests have yet to be validated by the DOH.
The DOH has since bolstered its validation efforts. It also required laboratories to submit their line list or the masterlist of their test results for the Epidemiology Bureau to check. Vergeire claimed that they learned that some names weren’t forwarded to them for validation.
Vergeire said the public shouldn’t worry because the country has been improving its COVID-19 response with the declining number of deaths and low utilization of critical care facilities.
People infected with COVID-19 worldwide reached more than 6.3 million on Wednesday, based on the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus dashboard. Of this number, 2.7 million have already recovered and 380,000 have died.