PH logs highest-ever new COVID-19 cases at 15,310

The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday, April 2, recorded 15,310 new confirmed COVID-19 cases – the Philippines' highest single-day tally so far.

This brings the country's total confirmed cases to 771,497. Of these cases, 19.9% or 153,809 cases are active or currently sick.

The DOH also reported 17 new deaths due to COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 13,320. Meanwhile, recoveries are up by 434, raising the total to 604,368.

The health department noted that the reported cases on Friday includes 3,709 cases backlogged due to system technical issues last March 31. But even without the case backlogs, Friday's recorded cases still is the biggest single-day tally since the pandemic began.

"We have encountered some issues in uploading cases in the system last March 31. We have resolved this issue – and we no longer have backlogs," Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told reporters.

"However, with this, around 3,700 cases that were supposed to be reported last March 31 will just be reported today as part of the total cases," Vergeire added.

In a statement on April 2, the DOH and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said it would " continuously work to ensure that such system issues are avoided and that the COVID-19 data being reported are as accurate as possible."

The statement added that "the effects of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) imposed over the greater Metro Manila area will reflect in the daily case count over the next few weeks," and asked the public to stay vigilant and minimize non-essential travel while observing minimum public health standards to curb COVID-19 transmissions.

The DOH also reported a positivity rate of 20.7% out of 35,143 tests in its bulletin. These positive cases are added to the tally of confirmed cases only after further validation. This process helps ensure that cases would not be recorded in duplicates, and that all test results had been submitted, explained the department.

The DOH said that 7 laboratories were not able to submit their data on time.

The DOH on Wednesday appealed to licensed COVID-19 testing centers in the country to continue their operations during the Holy Week to ensure the uninterrupted monitoring of the pandemic situation.

The health department said on Wednesday, March 31, that the government's One Hospital Command Center is currently facing "a lot of strain" due to the surge in infections. Vergeire said that the centralized COVID-19 referral center has been receiving 300 to 4,000 calls every day as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the country.

NCR hospitals remain operational – DOH

The DOH added in a separate bulletin on April 2 that all 17 DOH-retained hospitals in the National Capital Region remain operational.

That said, some of these DOH-retained hospitals have suspended elective surgeries and outpatient department operations to ensure critical services continue working while healthcare workers (HCWs) recover from COVID-19.

"Individual hospital infection control units have started hospital-level investigations to find sources of infection and contain further spread. Meanwhile, HCWs infected with COVID-19 are being provided support by facilitating hospital or isolation facility admission," the DOH statement said.

It also urged the public to take advantage of teleconsultations for non-urgent medical concerns so overcrowding in hospitals is lessened. – Rappler.com

Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.

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