PH coronavirus cases rise to 2,633, death toll now at 107
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday, April 2, confirmed 322 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total cases in the country to 2,633.
The DOH also reported that 11 more patients died of COVID-19, raising the death toll in the country to 107.
One more patient recovered from the disease, bringing the total number of recoveries to 51.
The Philippines recorded its first coronavirus case on January 30, a woman from Wuhan, China who later recovered from the disease. The country had its first two locally-transmitted cases on March 6, when it had only 5 confirmed cases.
The health department earlier said that the public could expect a spike in the number of confirmed cases due to the country's expanded testing capacity. As of Wednesday, tests were conducted at full scale at the Research Institue for Trpoical Medicine and 6 laboratories nationwide.
At least 63 more labs are being prepared to fully handle tests.
Health experts estimated that the number of cases in the country may reach anywhere between 26,000 to 75,000. (READ: Ex-DOH chief: Actual number of virus cases could reach 75,000 in 2 weeks)
To contain the spread of the virus, President Rodrigo Duterte placed Metro Manila and the entire Luzon on lockdown until April 14 and April 12, respectively, but this could be lifted earlier or extended depending on the situation.
Many other areas outside Luzon have been placed on lockdown as well, to contain the spread of the virus.
On Tuesday, March 31, the Inter-Agency Task Force on the coronavirus ordered its technical working group to finalize guidelines on the extension, expansion, modification, or lifting of the Luzon lockdown.
Duterte earlier signed the Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan To Heal As One Act which gave him 30 special powers to address the coronavirus pandemic.
On Thursday morning, the government required Luzon residents to wear face masks or improvised face shields when leaving their homes to buy essentials.
The global death toll reached more than 47,000 on Wednesday, April 1. – Rappler.com