MANILA — The Philippines breached the 40,000 mark in COVID-19 cases on Friday, with the 1,531 additional cases the highest number reported in a single day since the start of the pandemic.
The record-high number came a day after the country logged only 294 cases on Thursday due to data processing issues. The current total is now at 40,336.
“Matatandaan po natin na ang new cases reported yesterday was only 294 at ngayon naman ay mataas ang numbers. Dahil po ito sa pagshift natin sa bagong data extraction system kung saan kahapon, mas maikli ang oras na naka-allot to extract and analyze the data,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a briefing.
(If you remember, the new cases reported yesterday was only 294 and now we have high numbers. This is because we have shifted to a new data extraction system and yesterday, we had a shorter time alloted to extract and analyze data.)
The DOH later explained to media that their data extraction is back to 24 hours.
“Yesterday’s was shortened as we had to shift to a new data extraction system to better accommodate better data submission from the reporting units,” the DOH said.
The additional cases were further broken down to 688 “fresh cases” and 843 “late cases,” according to the Department of Health case bulletin. The 843 late cases is the highest since May 31.
Fresh cases refer to those whose test results were released within the last 3 days, while late cases are those whose results were released four days ago or earlier.
Of the fresh cases, 255 are from the National Capital Region (NCR), 138 from Region 7 or Central Visayas, 24 identified as repatriated Filipinos, and 271 tagged as “others.” Others may refer to cases from outside Metro Manila and those without location data.
Of the late cases, 158 are from NCR, 163 from Region 7, 8 identified as repatriates and 514 tagged as others.
While NCR is still the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, Region 7’s Cebu province and Cebu City have been identified as hotspots. Because of this, Cebu City remains under a strict enhanced community quarantine.
The DOH, however, acknowledged that 629 of the additional cases reported on Friday do not have regional or location data. These are listed under the “others” category. Based on the table shared by the DOH, majority of these cases had their tests processed by laboratories in NCR. The rest are from Region 3 laboratories.
The DOH also reported a record-high 400 new recovered patients or a total 11,073 recoveries.
Meanwhile, there were 6 deaths or a total of 1,280 coronavirus-related fatalities.
“Today's fresh cases are based on the daily accomplishment reports submitted by only 57 out of 73 current operational labs,” the DOH said in its report.
The data was from the submission of 63 out of 73 licensed laboratories.
Of the 1,531 additional cases, 1,526 have mild symptoms, 1 is in critical condition, and 3 are considered asymptomatic. One was also listed among the dead.
Researchers from the University of the Philippines earlier estimated that the country may reach 40,000 COVID-19 cases by June 30.
When June 30 came and the country’s cases did not reach this number, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque called it a victory.
However, people pointed out that there were more than 40,000 people who had actually tested positive for COVID-19 and are just awaiting validation from the DOH.
The same UP group that made the projection is now estimating that cases may go up to 60,000 by the end of July.
There have been almost 10.9 million people worldwide who were infected with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus dashboard. Of this number, 5.7 million people have recovered while 521,000 have died.