MANILA — There are now a total of 209,544 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines as the Department of Health on Friday reported 3,999 more infections.
Most of the additional cases, culled from data from 101 out of 110 laboratories, were from the National Capital Region (2,097 cases), Laguna (178), Cavite (138), Batangas (132), and Cebu (125).
Majority or 82% of the additional cases occurred in the last 2 weeks, with NCR topping the list of areas with new cases, followed by Region 4A (Calabarzon) and repatriated overseas Filipinos, with 278 new cases.
With 510 additional recovered patients and 91 additional coronavirus-related deaths, there are now 71,745 active cases in the country. Active cases refer to patients who are still infected with COVID-19 and are staying either in hospital or under home quarantine.
It is the third day that additional COVID-19 deaths are just below 100.
More than half or 55 of the additional fatalities died in August, 33 in July, 2 in June and 1 in May.
The total number of recoveries, meanwhile, is at 134,474 while the total number of fatalities is at 3,325.
A total of 36 duplicate cases were removed from the previous tally, including 12 tagged as recoveries.
“Moreover, there were fourteen cases that were previously reported as recovered but after final validation, they were deaths,” the DOH said.
The Philippines has been logging record-high numbers in terms of new COVID-19 cases since late July, following the easing of quarantine measures and the gradual reopening of the economy.
At the same time, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Filipinos should not expect cases to go down due to the imposition of a stricter 2-week modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in Metro Manila and nearby provinces earlier this month.
The shift from looser general quarantine was made following appeals from exhausted health care workers for a time out.
“That’s not the very objective why we did that. Ginawa natin 'yan para pagbigyan ang health care workers to have a breather (We did that to give our health care workers a breather). We took this time to recalibrate our strategies,” she said.
She said the DOH was able to start the One Hospital Command system and the CODE strategy at the time. The One Hospital Command is supposed to improve the coordination of hospitals to ensure that patients are properly endorsed and admitted, while the CODE strategy is meant to help local government units address local infections.
“Of course long-term, iyon po ang ating objective. With all these strategies we are doing, eventually we can hopefully mapababa ang number of cases,” she said.
(Our objective is of course long-term. With all these strategies we are doing, eventually we can hopefully bring down the number of cases.)
Since the start of the pandemic, 24.48 million people have been infected by the COVID-19 virus, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus dashboard. Of those, 832,000 have died and almost 16 million have recovered.