COVID-19 cases in PH breach 230,000

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 04 2020 04:10 PM | Updated as of Sep 04 2020 05:34 PM

MANILA — The Philippines logged 3,714 additional COVID-19 cases on Friday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the Philippines to 232,072.

This is based only on the test results of 93 out of 113 laboratories, with 20 laboratories failing to submit their reports on time.

Almost half or 1,797 of the additional cases are from the National Capital Region, followed by Negros Occidental (390), Batangas (248), Laguna (247) and Cavite (150).

While NCR and nearby provinces usually top the list of provinces with new COVID-19 cases, the DOH earlier said the increase in COVID-19 cases in Negros Occidental is largely due to locally stranded individuals. 

According to the Department of Health, 88% of the 3,714 additional cases are recent or occurred in the last two weeks. NCR, Region 4A and Region 6 are also the top sources of the recent cases.

With 1,088 additional recovered patients and 49 additional COVID-related deaths, there are now 67,786 active cases or people still infected with COVID-19 in the country. Five of the 49 deaths were from September. Majority (35) of the deaths were from August and the rest from July (4), June (3) and May (2).

The total number of recoveries is at 160,549 while the total number of fatalities is at 3,737.

A total of 40 duplicate cases were removed from the previous tally, including 12 tagged as recovered.

“Moreover, five (5) cases were removed from the total case count after final validation. Of these, two (2) cases were previously reported as recovered,” the DOH added.

On Wednesday and Thursday, the Philippines saw relatively low numbers of additional cases, at least when compared to August’s 3,000 to 4,000 daily COVID-19 cases. Thursday’s count, however, was based only on 91 laboratories.

Because of this, Friday’s 1,797 additional cases is the highest in the last 5 days.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Friday morning said they will have to check the 7-day moving average first to see if the trend is indeed showing a decrease in cases. 

She also said late reports from laboratories affect the numbers, as seen on Thursday, when the number of cases was below the 2,000 mark as 22 laboratories failed to submit their test results on time.

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 opening up of the economy.

Additional deaths have also seemingly increased, with 90 to 100 cases reported for 5 days last week. But Vergeire said people should not be looking at just the daily numbers.

“Nakikita natin tumataas ang numero ng mga kaso pero pag tinignan ang case fatality rate natin, ito ay patuloy na bumababa,” she said.

(We see that the number of cases increase but if we look at the case fatality rate, it continues to decrease.)

Vergeire said that while case fatality rate — or the number of deaths over the number of cumulative cases — was at 6.7% in April, it went down to 5.3% by the end of May, 3.4% by the end of June, 2.2% by the end of July and 1.6% by August 31.

On Friday, the DOH reported that out of the active cases in the country, 90.7% are mild cases, 6.9% asymptomatic cases, 0.9% severe cases and 1.4% critical cases.

Since the start of the pandemic, 26.3 million people have been infected by the COVID-19 virus, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus dashboard. Of those, 868,000 have died and 17.5 million have recovered.