PH logs 1,990 new COVID cases as 17 testing labs fail to send results on time

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 13 2020 04:00 PM | Updated as of Oct 13 2020 05:28 PM

Protesters picket outside the House of Representatives in Quezon City on October 13,2020, in time for the lawmakers' special session on the proposed 2021 budget delayed by the Speakership row between Reps. Alan Peter Cayetano and Lord Allan Velasco. The protesters called on lawmakers to stop the political in-fighting and immediately address the budget needed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday reported 1,990 additional COVID-19 cases, the lowest single-day tally since the start of October, bringing the total of confirmed coronavirus infections in the Philippines to 344,713.

Of the newly-announced cases, 580 are from the National Capital Region (NCR).

The DOH said Tuesday's additional cases, of which majority or 92% occurred in the last 2 weeks, do not include results from 17 laboratories that failed to submit their data on time.

Meanwhile, there are also 327 additional recovered patients and 40 new COVID-related deaths, said the DOH. Of the newly-announced deaths, 18 occurred in October, 15 in September, 4 in August and 1 each in July, June, and April. 

With a total of 293,383 recoveries and 6,372 fatalities, the country's active cases are 44,958.

There were 93 duplicate cases, including 85 tagged as recovered, that were removed from the official tally. The DOH also reclassified 11 recoveries as deaths.

Except for Oct. 12, Oct. 4 and Sept. 28, the Philippines has been logging less than 3,000 cases a day in the last 3 weeks, although there are some days when more than a dozen laboratories are unable to submit their data.

The latest report of the OCTA Research Group noted the declining trend of COVID-19 cases for the entire Philippines and NCR. However, it also noted hotspots of high-risk areas in the country, which it said should be placed under stricter quarantine measures.

The group, composed of professors from the University of the Philippines, the University of Santo Tomas, and Providence College in the United States, pointed out that “positive trends are not irreversible and significant efforts have to be undertaken by all stakeholders to sustain.”

It said Bauan in Batangas, Calbayog in Western Samar, and General Trias, Cavite should be placed under localized lockdowns, while testing should be scaled up in particular areas in Mindanao.

The Philippines is already among the top 20 countries with the most number of COVID-19 cases, based on the tally of the US-based Johns Hopkins University.

The country confirmed its first COVID-19 case on Jan. 30, in a Chinese woman who arrived from Wuhan City, China where the disease is believed to have first emerged.

Since the start of the pandemic, 37.8 million people have been infected by the COVID-19 virus, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus dashboard. Of those, 1.08 million have died and almost 26.3 million have recovered.