Philippines reaches grim milestone of 1 million COVID-19 cases

The Philippines on Monday, April 26, reached a grim milestone as COVID-19 cases in the country breached the 1-million mark.

The Department of Health (DOH) tallied 8,929 new COVID-19 infections on Monday, bringing total cases in the country to 1,006,428. From the peak of 203,710 active cases on April 17, it went down to 74,623 on Monday.

The DOH also recorded 70 new deaths due to COVID-19, pushing the death toll to 16,853. There have been over 3,500 deaths added so far in April alone, already the most for any month since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Meanwhile, recoveries increased by 11,333, raising the total to 914,952.

The DOH also reported a positivity rate of 16.7% out of 45,863 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 two testing hubs were not operational on Saturday, April 24, while 9 laboratories were not able to submit their data on time. The cases reflected in the bulletin were based on tests conducted two days ago.

The Philippines reached the 1-million mark earlier than expected. The Octa Research team had projected that the country's caseload would reach 1 million by the end of April.

In its report on Sunday, April 25, Octa said new COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila were on a downward trend in the past week, with a reproduction number of 0.93. The reproduction number is the number of people that one COVID-19 positive case can infect.

Aside from this, the experts said provinces in the "NCR Plus" bubble – Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, and Cavite – also posted negative growth rates. "NCR Plus" is under modified enhanced community quarantine until Friday, April 30. – Rappler.com

Read this two-part series on the COVID-19 surge in the country:

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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