PH coronavirus cases near 140,000

COVID-19 cases in the Philippines neared the 140,000 mark on Tuesday, August 11, as the Department of Health (DOH) reported 2,987 new cases of COVID-19.

The latest confirmed cases bring the total to 139,538.

Of the new cases, 1,290 are "fresh" or those whose test results were released in the last 3 days, while the other 1,697 are "late" cases from the DOH's backlog.

The country's COVID-19 death toll rose to 2,312, after 19 cases were added to the tally. The DOH also reported 280 new recoveries, bringing the total number of those who beat the disease to 68,432.

The latest DOH data showed that 50% or 1,510 of the 2,987 new cases are from Metro Manila. The rise in cases continues to strain hospitals in the capital region, where critical care capacity was at 76% – or at the "danger zone" – as of August 10.

The Philippines still has the most number of coronavirus infections in Southeast Asia, followed by Indonesia.

Researchers studying the COVID-19 outbreak in the country had estimated that infections nationwide could reach 150,000 cases by the end of August even with a "strict and effective" implementation of general community quarantine restrictions.

On Tuesday, Malacañang said the extension of modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in Metro Manila and nearby provinces is "highly unlikely" given the lack of funds to extend assistance to affected Filipinos and the huge blow to the economy.

The government this week is expected to carry out its new strategy against the coronavirus which Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said would make people feel the presence of the DOH at the local level. (READ: In new COVID-19 strategy, people will feel DOH presence at local level – Vergeire)

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte on Tuesday called on the DOH to immediately make available to local governments important information of COVID-19 cases to make contact tracing easier and more efficient. (READ: Belmonte says incomplete patients' info from DOH hindering contact tracing efforts) –

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.