Philippines' COVID-19 cases top 800,000

The Philippines on Monday, April 5, logged 8,355 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the country's total to 803,398.

Of the total cases, 17.9% or 143,726 are active or currently sick.

The Department of Health (DOH) also reported 10 new deaths due to COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 13,435.

Meanwhile, recoveries are up by 145, raising the total to 646,237.

The DOH also reported a positivity rate of 21% out of 21,537 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 3 laboratories were not able to submit their data on time.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said on Monday morning that it is "too early" to say that the enforcement of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila slowed down COVID-19 transmission, refuting a report from Octa Research.

Vergeire said the country should expect a relatively low number of reported cases in the coming days as some testing centers did not operate during Holy Week. She cautioned the public against interpreting the anticipated lower tally as a slowdown in the spread of COVID-19.

An area dubbed "NCR Plus" – Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, and Cavite – is under ECQ until at least April 11 to address congestion in hospitals.

In terms of hospital care utilization, the DOH said the public would see the effects of the ECQ around 3 to 4 weeks after the lockdown implementation.

Relatives of COVID-19 patients have been turning to social media for help with finding available hospitals for admission, with some of them narrating how their loved ones have died without proper treatment due to full capacity in hospitals. – 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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