New PH coronavirus cases spike by 272, total now at 1,075

Aika Rey
The Department of Health says 14 more patients died of the coronavirus disease, raising the death toll to 68

TEMPERATURE CHECK. A DOH personnel checks body temperatures of motorists as policemen inspect their identification at a checkpoint along the boundary of Muntinlupa and San Pedro, Laguna during the start of the community quarantine on March 15, 2020. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health reported 272 new cases on Saturday, March 28 – the highest spike in cases in a single day so far – bringing the total number to 1,075.

The DOH said that 14 more patients died of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), raising the death toll to 68.

Four patients recovered, bringing the total number of recoveries in the country to 35. (READ: IN NUMBERS: What hospitals need to treat COVID-19 patients)

Details about the new patients and those who died were not released to the media as of posting time.

On Saturday, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority General Manager Jojo Garcia announced that he had contracted the virus. (READ: Doctors anxious as high-risk hospitals open doors to COVID-19 patients)

Other Philippine officials, including President Rodrigo Duterte, have been on self-quarantine after being exposed to people who tested positive for the coronavirus. So far, no Cabinet official has tested positive for COVID-19 but in the Senate, 3 senators and some Senate staff tested positive for the disease. (READ: LIST: PH officials in quarantine, affected by coronavirus)

Duterte had placed the entire island of Luzon under a total lockdown and declared state of public health emergency and a state of calamity in the Philippines in a bid to stem the virus spread. (WATCH: Data and facts – what the PH can do to deal with coronavirus)

The total lockdown in Luzon will be until April 12, and Metro Manila until April 14, unless extended or ended earlier depending on the situation. 

Many other areas outside Luzon have been placed on lockdown as well to complement efforts to curb the rise of coronavirus cases.

Duterte signed earlier this week Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act which gives the President 30 special powers to deal with coronavirus outbreak. –

Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at