PH coronavirus cases near 9,000, deaths now at 603

JC Gotinga
PH coronavirus cases near 9,000, deaths now at 603

The Department of Health confirms 156 new coronavirus cases in the country, bringing the total number to 8,928

MANILA, Philippines – The number of confirmed coronavirus patients in the country neared the 9,000-mark on Saturday, May 2, as the Department of Health reported 156 new cases.

With the latest figure, the total number of coronavirus cases in the country was at 8,928 as of 4 pm on Saturday.

The agency reported 24 new fatalities, bringing the total death count to 603.

Meanwhile, 40 more patients have recovered from the disease, bringing total recoveries to 1,124

Three months since the novel coronavirus was first detected in the Philippines, Filipinos are gearing up for the “new normal” way of life as the pandemic lingers even after lockdowns or enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) measures transition into the less stringent general community quarantine (GCQ) in the coming weeks.

In Metro Manila, Calabarzon, and some other parts of Luzon, the ECQ is expected to ease into the GCQ after May 15. Many less-densely populated areas in the country are already under GCQ.

Earlier on Saturday, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said one major change Filipinos’ must make in the “new normal” would be to avoid hanging out in malls.

The government is requiring mall operators to ensure physical distancing, to require face masks, and conduct body temperature-scanning of customers when GCQ is implemented. Malls are mostly closed under the ECQ.

Another thing the government wants malls to do is to raise the temperature of air conditioning to 26 degrees Celsius. Authorities hope a warmer temperature would discourage people from staying in malls.

President Rodrigo Duterte placed the entire country under quarantine from May 1 to 15. While Metro Manila, parts of Luzon, and major cities and provinces in Visayas and Mindanao are under the strictest form of quarantine, the rest of the country is under GCQ. –

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JC Gotinga

JC Gotinga often reports about the West Philippine Sea, the communist insurgency, and terrorism as he covers national defense and security for Rappler. He enjoys telling stories about his hometown, Pasig City. JC has worked with Al Jazeera, CNN Philippines, News5, and CBN Asia.