MANILA, Philippines – The number of confirmed novel coronavirus cases in the Philippines has reached 8,488 on Thursday, April 30, as the government reported 276 new cases.
The Department of Health (DOH) also reported 10 new deaths on Thursday, bringing the total death toll to 568.
The recoveries also went up by 20 on Thursday, which raised the total to 1,043.
On Thursday, the national government announced some easing of the quarantine protocols, such as allowing small-sized essential work and religious gatherings in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ).
Metro Manila and other parts of the Philipines remain under lockdown or enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) until May 15. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said beginning May 16, new impositions of quarantine must be made with the approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on the coronavirus outbreak.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said that while lockdowns are meant to minimize the number of infections, the new reported cases by the hundreds per day are a reflection of the country’s increased testing capacity.
The DOH said it was likely to miss its target of conducting 8,000 daily coronavirus tests by April 30, but said it would catch up soon.
The country’s current testing capacity is from 2,895 to 6,420 tests per day, according to Health Undersecretary Mario Rosario Vergeire.
Vergeire said that as of Thursday, 1,619 health care workers tested positive for COVID-19. Of that number, 33 have died and 250 have recovered.
The Philippines, with a population of over 100 million, has 19 operational COVID-19 testing centers. – Rappler.com