MANILA — The Philippines logged 202,361 total confirmed COVID-19 cases on Wednesday after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 5,277 additional cases.
The new cases, which is the 4th highest reported in a single day, are mostly from the National Capital Region (3,157 cases), while the rest are from Laguna (403), Negros Occidental (304), Rizal (237), and Cavite (228). The data is from 95 out of 109 operational testing laboratories.
While NCR and Region 4A provinces are usually the areas with most of the new COVID-19 cases, Negros Occidental, which is in Region 6, recently joined the list. It is still unclear how many of the province’s 304 cases are fresh or old cases, although Region 6 logged a total of 220 “newly reported” cases in the last 2 weeks.
Like before, majority (82%) of the additional cases occurred in the last 2 weeks.
5TH HIGHEST DEATHS
The DOH also logged 1,131 additional recovered patients, and 99 new COVID-related deaths, which is the 5th highest reported in a single day since the pandemic started.
The deaths are also mostly recent, with 77 happening in August, 18 in July, 3 in June and 1 in May. More than half of the 99 are from NCR (61 fatalities).
With 133,460 total recoveries and 3,137 total fatalities, the number of active cases or those still infected with COVID-19 in the country stood at 65,764.
A total of 80 duplicate cases were removed from the previous tally, including 58 tagged as recovered.
“Moreover, there were nine (9) cases that were previously reported as recovered but after final validation, they were deaths,” the DOH said.
More than 4,000 duplicate cases have already been removed from the official cumulative tally since June.
The Philippines has seen record-high numbers in terms of additional COVID-19 cases since late July after the initial easing of quarantine measures and gradual opening up of the economy.
It has soared to the top among Southeast Asian countries in terms of caseload, and even surpassed the tally of China, where the disease is believed to have first emerged.
Experts from the UP OCTA Research Group said the epidemic curve might finally flatten by the end of the month or next month. Although, they said it might take 1 or 2 more months before the number of cases become “very manageable.”
But the DOH said it is “still early to tell" if the current trend "is moving towards the projection of UP OCTA team.”
“Again, we reiterate that there are always presumptions with any forecast; what will ultimately determine how well we respond to this pandemic is how well we practice our prescribed minimum public health standards and how cooperative we are with our government’s strategies,” the DOH said.
The DOH has attributed the increase in cases to community transmission of the virus and the country's expanded testing. The Philippines' first coronavirus infection was confirmed on Jan. 30 in a Chinese woman who arrived from Wuhan City, China where the outbreak is said to have started.
It is unclear if additional cases will decrease due to the two-week implementation of the stricter modified enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and 4 nearby provinces on Aug. 4-18. Doctors have said that the effects of quarantine measures are usually seen two weeks after, coinciding with the usual incubation period of the virus.
Since the start of the pandemic, nearly 24 million people have been infected by the COVID-19 virus, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus dashboard. Of those, 819,000 have died and almost 15.6 million have recovered.
There is still no approved cure or vaccine for COVID-19.