Philippines' active COVID-19 cases breach 50,000; total cases at 76,444

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 24 2020 04:53 PM | Updated as of Jul 24 2020 06:21 PM

Clients and customers go through health and sanitation protocols laid out by the Land Transportation and Franchising Regualtory Board (LTFRB) buidling complex in Quezon City on July 20, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The number of active COVID-19 cases in the Philippines has reached 50,063, following 2,103 additional cases reported on Friday.

This brings the total number of cases to 76,444.

Active cases refer to patients who are still infected with COVID-19 and have not yet recovered.

Of the 2,103 cases, which is the 7th highest total reported in a single day, 1,272 are from the National Capital Region, 291 are from Cebu province, 107 from Laguna, 83 from Rizal and 53 from Cavite.

Since the easing of quarantine measures and the gradual revival of the economy, new COVID-19 cases in NCR steadily increased, while Cebu island was identified as an emerging hotspot for COVID-19 cases. Region 4A or Calabarzon, which is near NCR, also saw an increase in cases.

“Ngayon na nakikita muli natin ang pagtaas ng bilang ng mga kaso dahil sa muling pagbubukas ng ating ekonomiya, mas lalo pa nating paigtingin ang ating pagiging parte ng solusyon through being BIDAs,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a televised briefing, referring to the DOH campaign to encourage the wearing of face masks and practicing other minimum health standards to curb the spread of COVID-19.

(Now that we are seeing an increase in the number of cases because of the gradual opening up of the economy, we need to further intensify our BIDA solutions.)

BIDA is shorthand for: "Bawal walang mask, I-sanitize ang kamay at Iwas-hawak sa mga bagay, Dumistansya nang isang metro, at Alamin ang totoong impormasyon."

(It is prohibited to have no mask on, sanitize hands and avoid touching things, keep a one-meter distance, know the right information.)

Of the additional cases, 1,029 are “fresh cases,” which refer to test results released within the last 3 days, and 1,074 are “late cases," or those released at least four days ago.

The data comes from 78 out of 90 current operational laboratories.

During a televised briefing, Vergeire reported 144 additional recovered patients or a total of 24,502 recoveries.

There are also 15 additional coronavirus-related deaths or a total of 1,879 fatalities.

“Of the 15 deaths, 11 [were recorded in] July, 3 in June, 1 in April. Deaths were from Region 7 (13), Region 3 (1) and Region 6 (1),” the DOH said.

Vergeire said this brings the Philippine case fatality rate to 2.36 percent.

Despite the increase in cases, Vergeire said the case doubling time in the Philippines is continuing to improve. While it was at 8.28 days on June 1, it has gone up to 11.97 days on July 17. This means that it is taking a longer time for additional cases to double in number.

Meanwhile, the case fatality rate or proportion of people dying from COVID-19 went down from 6.7 percent on April 30 to 2.6 percent on July 22.

“Ang nakikita po nating dahilan dito ay dahil sa continuously improving na case treatment and management protocols ng ating bansa sa pag-handle ng mga COVID-19 patients,” Vergeire said.

(What we are seeing here is because of the continuously improving case treatment and management protocols in the country in the handling of COVID-19 cases.)

The DOH said it removed 49 duplicate cases, including 2 deaths, from the previous tally.

“Moreover, we have updated the health status of five (5) cases previously reported as deaths but after final validation were all recovered. These numbers undergo constant cleaning and validation,” the DOH said.