PH coronavirus cases up by 128; total now 1,546

Bonz Magsambol
The Department of Health also reports that 7 more patients have died from the novel coronavirus, bringing the death toll to 78

CHECKPOINT. A Department of Health 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. File photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday, March 30, reported 128 new cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 1,546.

The DOH also confirmed that 7 more patients have died from the virus, bringing the total fatalities in the Philippines to 78. 

The total number of patients who have recovered from the virus still stands at 42. 

On Monday noon, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved 5 antibody test kits for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. 

FDA Director-General Eric Domingo said that the rapid test kits will yield faster results compared to the PCR-based test kits.

To contain the spread of the virus, President Rodrigo Duterte declared a state of public health emergency and a state of calamity in the country, and placed Metro Manila and Luzon under “enhanced community quarantine” or lockdown.

The lockdown in Luzon will last until April 12, and in Metro Manila until April 14, but it could be lifted earlier or extended depending on the situation.

Duterte was also granted with special powers to respond to the outbreak through Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act. – 

Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.