MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) announced 292 more Filipinos were positive for the coronavirus, raising to 11,086 the total number of confirmed cases in the country as of Monday, May 11.
The death toll due to the disease climbed to 726 after 7 more deaths were counted.
Another 75 patients recovered, bringing to 1,999 the total number of recoveries.
The DOH said 162 of the 292 new cases were found in Metro Manila, while 74 were counted in Central Visayas and 56 in other regions.
The increase in cases comes as Metro Manila and parts of Luzon enter their 9th week under lockdown, after President Rodrigo Duterte decided to extend quarantine measures twice from April 12 to April 30 and again from April 30 to May 15.
With the extensions, Metro Manila and parts of Luzon that have been on lockdown since March 15 have been under quarantine as long as Italy, which implemented the longest lockdown in Europe.
Duterte is expected to decide on Monday, what the next steps for Metro Manila and other areas that remain under enhanced community quarantine will be after May 15. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the government’s coronavirus task force was meeting on the matter on Monday and was scheduled to submit its recommendation to the President by 5 pm.
If Duterte decides to extend the lockdown for another 15 days, residents of Metro Manila and other areas will have been on lockdown for as long as Wuhan, China – ground zero for the coronavirus.
Metro Manila mayors had earlier presented the government’s task force with 3 options for when the enhanced community quarantine, or lockdown, lapses on May 15.
- Extending the enhanced community quarantine by a maximum of two weeks
- Transitioning into general community quarantine (GCQ)
- Transitioning into “modified” GCQ allowing the mayors to impose lockdowns on case-heavy barangays
The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) earlier said mayors of the 16 cities and one municipality in the capital region were prepared for any of the 3 options, but appealed to the national government that only one of them be implemented.
MMDA general manager Jojo Garcia said this was because cities of the metro shared common borders, which would make different policies difficult to implement.
Meanwhile, health experts and lawmakers have also called for more aggressive mass testing as the country continues to lag behind and as cases continue to increase. – Rappler.com