The Philippines on Saturday, April 3, recorded 12,576 new COVID-19 cases, the second day in a row the country recorded more than 10,000.
The new cases bring the total number of confirmed infections to 784,043 – 165,715 of whom are currently sick.
The active cases are now the new highest tally for total active cases. In just the first 3 days of April, at least 36,755 new cases were added to the tally, excluding duplicates removed by DOH.
The Department of Health (DOH) also recorded 103 new deaths, bringing the total death toll to 13,423. Meanwhile, 599 just recovered, bringing total recoveries to 604,905.
The DOH said 30 duplicates were removed from the total case count. Of these, 14 are recoveries.
“Moreover, 48 cases that were previously tagged as recoveries were reclassified as deaths after final validation. Seven labs were not able to submit their data to the COVID-19 Document Repository System (CDRS) on April 2, 2021,” the DOH said.
On Friday, April 2, the DOH recorded the country’s highest-ever single day tally so far, with 15,310. However, the health department noted a 3,700-case backlog that was just added to the Friday tally.
The country began experiencing its worst-ever COVID-19 case surge in March. Virus epicenter Metro Manila and 4 surrounding provinces Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, and Bulacan – dubbed “NCR Plus” – have been on hard lockdown or enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) since March 29. This will last until April 4 unless the government extends it.
Experts on Saturday urged the government to extend the lockdown imposed on “NCR Plus” for at least another week, as transmission has not been contained and hospital occupancies are still at critical levels.
The government’s pandemic inter-agency task force met on Saturday to discuss quarantine restrictions moving forward. Their decision has yet to be announced as of posting.
A premature lifting of the lockdowns could be “extremely catastrophic,” according to professor Ranjit Rye from the Octa Research group.
The experts said the government also needs to step up in supporting its overwhelmed healthcare workers. The group said the government could transport nurses and doctors from low-risk regions to Metro Manila and provide them with the necessary aid and accommodations.
Alongside the policy recommendations, Filipinos are worried about keeping themselves fed if the lockdown is imposed any longer. The Asian Development Bank found that around half of Filipinos, if they lose their income, could only make ends meet for up to two weeks.
The government is providing aid, but only P1,000 ($20) for 22.9 million Filipinos per person for a one-week lockdown.
In 2020, it took months for aid to be distributed to starving Filipinos. – Rappler.com