MANILA (UPDATE) - Coronavirus infections in the Philippines breached the 85,000-mark on Wednesday, as projected by researchers from the University of the Philippines and surpassing mainland China’s cumulative tally of the disease.
According to the latest bulletin of the Department of Health, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country climbed by 1,874 to 85,486, of which, 56,528 are active.
The total cases in mainland China, where the infectious disease is believed to have first emerged late last year, stood at 84,060, as of Wednesday morning, according to the World Health Organization - Western Pacific Region office. Cases in its special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau were separately logged.
In a July 16, 2020 forecast report, researchers from UP said that the number of coronavirus infections in the Philippines may reach past 85,000 by the end of July, with 2,000 deaths, based on the prevailing rate of reproduction of cases.
The Philippines recorded its first COVID-19 case on Jan. 30 in a Chinese woman who arrived from the Chinese city of Wuhan where the outbreak is believed to have originated.
A few days later, the first novel coronavirus-related death outside China was recorded in the Philippines, involving a Chinese male companion of the country's first reported case.
Since Monday, the number of additional cases being reported daily in the country is below 2,000. Although, it has been two weeks already since the daily figure is above 1,000.
COVID-19 cases in the Philippines started to rise in July when the government continued to ease quarantine restrictions and gradually opened up the economy.
The DOH also reported 388 additional recovered patients, or a total of 26,996 recoveries.
There are also 16 additional COVID-related fatalities, bringing the death toll to 1,962.
“Of the 16 deaths, 6 (occurred) in July, 6 in June, 3 in May, and 1 in March. Deaths were from (the National Capital Region, with 6), Region 3 (3), Region 7 (3), Region 4A (2), Region 4B (1), and Region 11 (1),” the DOH said.
Of the 56,528 active cases, 90% have mild symptoms, 9% are asymptomatic, 0.5% have severe symptoms, and 0.4% are in critical condition.
Of the latest additional cases, 728 are from the NCR, 325 from Cebu province, 130 from Laguna, 67 from Iloilo, and 53 from Rizal. The data are sourced from 83 out of 91 operational testing laboratories.
The DOH said it also removed 61 duplicate cases, including 7 who were tagged as recovered, from the previous count.
“Moreover, we have updated the outcomes of three (3) cases. One (1) was previously reported as a death but updated as recovered, and two (2) cases were previously reported as recovered but updated as deaths after final validation," the DOH explained.
"These are already included in the count of new deaths and recoveries,” it added.