Philippines' COVID-19 cases soar to 32,295; DOH says increase 'gradual'

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 24 2020 05:30 PM | Updated as of Jun 24 2020 09:27 PM

Additional buses ply along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City on June 22, 2020, to accommodate more commuters amid the general community quarantine. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATED) — The Department of Health reported 470 additional coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases on Wednesday, 357 of which are considered “fresh cases” while 113 are labeled as “late cases."

Of the fresh cases, or whose test results were released within the last 3 days, 159 are from the National Capital Region, 141 are from Region 7 and 57 are tagged as “Others,” which refer to those from other regions or cases without location information.

Of the late cases, or those whose results were released at least four days ago, 66 are from NCR, 4 from Region 7, and 43 were tagged as “Others.”

“Bagaman tumataas ang mga kaso sa ating bansa, ang pagtaas naman nito ay gradual at hindi biglaan. Ang ibig sabihin po nito ay nakakayanan ng ating current health system ang pagtaas ng mga kasong ito,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in Filipino, as she presented a graph that showed the rising number of the respiratory disease.

(While there is an increase in cases in the country, the increase is gradual. This means that our current health system is able to handle the increase in cases.)

Vergeire said Filipinos should expect the number of cases to increase as the country slowly opens up its economy.

Parts of the Philippines have been on community quarantine for more than 100 days and starting this month, NCR and other areas eased restrictions on businesses and transportation.

While NCR still has the most number of COVID-19 cases in the country, Cebu has been identified as a hotspot because of the recent spike in cases.

During the briefing, Vergeire identified Cebu City, Cebu Province, Ormoc City, Southern Leyte, Leyte and Samar as emerging hotspots for the COVID-19 outbreak.

She said the cases are not that high but they were increasing at a faster rate than the other areas.

The DOH aldo said it recorded 214 new recovered patients or a total of 8,656 recoveries.

Meanwhile, there were 18 new deaths or 1,204 total COVID-related fatalities. 

Of the 18 deaths, 14 happened in June while the others are from previous months. There have been delays in the reporting of deaths also due to delayed validation. 

Vergeire said that while the number of cases are increasing, 96.2% of the cases are mild. 

“Only 0.5% are severe cases and 0.1% are critical cases,” she said. “This means, there is a high probability that we can recover from this illness.”

Nevertheless, she said that people should not be complacent and should continue to practice proper hygiene and physical distancing.

Worldwide, there are almost 9.3 million people who have been infected with COVID-19, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus dashboard. Of those, 4.6 million have recovered while 477,000 have died.