PH reports 1,923 new COVID-19 cases; 132 deaths highest in 2 weeks

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 23 2020 04:14 PM | Updated as of Oct 23 2020 06:39 PM

Commuters queue to take a ride at the EDSA busway-Quezon Avenue Station in Quezon City on October 06, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) — The Philippines recorded 1,923 new coronavirus infections on Friday, pushing the nationwide caseload to 365,799, data from the health department showed.

This marks the fourth straight day that the daily additional cases counted fewer than 2,000. The last time this happened was on July 1 to 4, according to ABS-CBN’s Data Analytics. 

Of the additional reported cases, 1,745 or 91 percent occurred in the past 2 weeks. The top regions with cases in the recent 14 days were NCR (428), Region 4A (302) and Region 6 (209).

The disease-causing virus, which first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, has claimed 132 more lives in the Philippines. Friday's death data is the highest in two weeks and has pushed Philippines' total to 6,915. 

The new fatalities is the highest number announced in a single day since Oct. 8, when the Department of Health (DOH) announced 144 deaths.

Of the new recorded deaths, 76 occurred in October, 30 in September, 9 in August, 14 in July, 1 in June and 2 in April. 

Total recoveries has risen to 312,691, up by 424 from the previous day, the DOH said in its latest bulletin.

The country has 46,193 active infections, of which 83.6 percent of the patients are exhibiting mild symptoms, official DOH figures showed.

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Davao City led the areas in the country that recorded the highest daily additional cases, at 99 confirmed infections. The cities of Cavite and Manila both recorded 94 new cases, followed by Quezon City and Negros Occidental with 92 and 89, respectively.

A total of 12 duplicates were removed from the total tally, the DOH said. Of these, 8 were tagged as recovered cases.

Meanwhile, 58 cases initially tagged as recoveries were found to be deaths after validation.

Thirteen laboratories out of the 136 accredited testing laboratories failed to submit their data on time, the DOH said.

Provinces lead slowing of COVID-19 spread

Three provinces in the Philippines, meanwhile, are leading the slowing down of COVID-19 cases in the country, according to the Zuellig Family Foundation (ZFF). 

The integrated COVID-19 response of Bataan, Aklan, and Agusan del Sur led to a lower reproductive rate of the virus in the provinces, the non-government organization claimed. 

“[These provinces] have… increased testing capacity, enhanced hospital and isolation facilities, and improved contact tracing,” ZFF said, citing the results of its Oct. 15 monitoring report. 

Using QR Codes, setting up COVID-19 swab test centers near the provinces’ entry points, the setting up of isolation facilities, and efficient contact tracing helped the province slow down COVID-19 spread, according to the organization. 

The OCTA Research Group, composed of professors from the University of the Philippines and University of Santo Tomas, estimates that COVID-19 cases in the Philippines will reach 380,000 to 410,000 by the end of October.

According to the Johns Hopkins University’s (JHU) coronavirus dashboard, more than 41.7 million people have been infected by the COVID-19 virus globally since the start of the pandemic. Of those, more than 1.1 million have died, and more than 28.3 million have recovered.

To date, the Philippines claimed the 20th spot among the top countries with the most number of cumulative COVID-19 cases, according to the JHU tally.