PH coronavirus cases jump to 3,660, death toll hits 163
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines now has 3,660 cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as the Department of Health (DOH) reported 414 additional cases on Monday, April 6.
The DOH also reported that 11 more patients died of COVID-19, for a total of 163 fatalities.
Nine patients recovered from the virus, raising the total number of recoveries to 73.
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, back when it had only 5 confirmed cases.
The DOH earlier said that the public can expect a spike in the number of cases due to the country's expanded testing capacity. As of Monday, 8 laboratories in the Philippines can perform a total of at least 1,710 coronavirus tests per day.
At least 69 more labs are being prepared to fully handle tests, said the DOH.
The government said earlier it planned to begin "massive testing" of persons under monitoring and patients under investigation for COVID-19 on April 14.
Health experts have 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)
On Monday, a month-old baby from Bataan province tested positive for the virus. He is the youngest COVID-19 patient in Central Luzon. Rappler is confirming with the DOH if the infant is the youngest coronavirus case in the country to date.
To contain the spread of the virus, President Rodrigo Duterte placed Metro Manila and the whole of Luzon on lockdown until April 14 and April 12, respectively, but this could be lifted or extended depending on the assessment of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the coronavirus, in consultation with experts and various sectors.
Duterte earlier signed Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan To Heal As One Act, which gave him 30 special powers to address the coronavirus pandemic.
As of Monday, the virus has infected more than 1.2 million of the gobal population, with over 69,000 deaths and 260,000 recoveries. – Rappler.com