Philippine coronavirus cases now at 5,878, deaths at 387

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health announced 218 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total in the country to 5,878 as of 4 pm on Friday, April 17.

The death toll reached 387, as 25 more died from the COVID-19, the DOH said.

The Philippines now has 487 recoveries, with 52 more patients listed as having recovered from the virus. This marked the third day that the number of total recoveries has exceeded the coronavirus fatalities in the country.

The health department released the latest numbers on coronavirus cases as Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia resigned partly due to "differences in development philosophy" with some Cabinet members. The National Economic Development Authority had earlier pushed for widespread coronavirus testing, as the government dodged the idea.

On Friday, at least 9 inmates and 9 personnel at the Quezon City Jail tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology announced.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority also announced on Friday that the government now allows the use of freezer vans, if morgues could no longer accommodate the dead bodies.

At least 14 senators have also recently called for the resignation of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III over "failure of leadership" in dealing with the pandemic. President Rodrigo Duterte backed Duque and decided that the latter should "stay put." –

Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at