MANILA, Philippines – The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the Philippines has reached 9,684, after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 199 new patients as of 4 pm on Tuesday, May 5.
The agency reported 14 new fatalities, bringing the death count to 637.
Some 93 more patients have recovered from the disease, bringing total recoveries to 1,408.
Earlier on Tuesday, Bases Conversion and Development Authority and coronavirus testing czar Vince Dizon said the government aims to be able to do 30,000 swab tests daily in order to catch up with detecting, isolating, and treating COVID-19 patients, and contain the local outbreak.
The government earlier failed to reach its target 8,000 tests per day by April 30.
Also on Tuesday, the government opened a COVID-19 testing center at the Palacio de Manila in Malate, the first of 4 planned “mega swabbing centers” in the Greater Manila Area. Each center is expected to perform 5,000 swab tests a day. The other venues are the Enderun Colleges in Taguig City, the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, and the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
The “swab” or reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test is the so-called “gold standard” of tests for the novel coronavirus. It yields results in 24 to 48 hours. Although rapid test kits are able to churn out results much faster, the swab test is more reliable in detecting the virus.
The government plans to “Test, Trace, and Treat” as many suspected COVID-19 cases as possible as different areas in the country transition from lockdowns or enhanced community quarantine to the less stringent ‘general community quarantine.
The DOH earlier said it expects a spike in the number of cases when stay-at-home orders are eased. – Rappler.com