Philippines' coronavirus cases soar to 47,873

Davinci Maru, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 07 2020 04:23 PM | Updated as of Jul 07 2020 09:11 PM

A woman takes the temperature of and sprays disinfectant on a jeepney passenger in Manila on Monday. Thousands of jeepneys hit the road again after 3 months since they were forced to stop operation amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Ted Aljibe, AFP

MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - The Philippines on Tuesday recorded 1,540 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, marking its third highest single-day spike since the pandemic began.

The additional cases raised the nationwide total to 47,873, of which 34,178 are considered active. 

In a press briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire attributed the surge in infection to expanded coronavirus testing and spreading of the virus at the community level.

"We are not experiencing a second wave but an increase in numbers of positive cases due to increase in testing, and community transmission caused by lack of implementation of minimum health standards. The increase has been gradual and our health system is able to cope with the increasing number of cases," she said.

Of Tuesday's new infections, 993 were classified as "fresh cases" and 547 as "late cases," the Department of Health (DOH) said in its latest bulletin.

Under the agency's new reporting system, fresh cases are those validated within the past 3 days, while late cases refer to test results that are released to patients 4 days ago or earlier.

Metro Manila had 428 fresh cases, followed by Central Visayas with 109, while 456 are tagged as "others."

"The recent increase is due to observed clustering in barangays in (the National Capital Region) and Cebu, and in workplaces in NCR," Vergeire said.

Meanwhile, of the 547 late cases, 191 came from Metro Manila, 65 in Central Visayas, and 291 are tagged as "others."

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Since the crisis broke out, the Philippines has recorded more recoveries than fatalities. The number of people who were given a clean bill of health climbed by 201 to 12,386, according to official figures.

The health ministry also reported 6 new fatalities from the contagious disease, bringing the death toll to 1,309. Data show the death rate from COVID-19 has continued to fall and is now at its lowest of 2.7 percent.

However, the Philippines has the second-highest number of coronavirus cases in the Southeast Asian region, trailing behind Indonesia which has more than 66,000 infections.

"We expect na patuloy na tataas ang mga kaso as we open up, because there is more contact between people at marami pa rin ang nakakalimot sa ating minimum health protocols," Vergeire said.

"Maaaring ang kailangan natin ay hindi ang pagbalik sa ECQ (enhanced community quarantine), kundi maging mas mahigpit sa pagpapatupad at pagsunod sa ating mga health protocols," she added.

Worldwide, the novel coronavirus, which was first detected in Wuhan City in China's Hubei province, has infected 11.6 million people and claimed more than 538,000 lives, a running tally from the US-based Johns Hopkins University showed. - With a report from ABS-CBN Data Analytics Team