The number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines jumped to 115,980 after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 3,462 new cases on Wednesday, August 5.
The DOH tallied 9 new fatalities due to the coronavirus disease, bringing the death toll to 2,123. Recoveries increased by 222, raising the total to 66,270.
The latest DOH data showed that 70% or 2,434 of the new reported cases are from Metro Manila.
Of the total confirmed cases, 47,587 are active cases.
The DOH said on Monday that it was monitoring 887 clusters of cases nationwide, 741 of them within communities. Of these clusters, 315 are in Metro Manila, the epicenter of the outbreak.
The continued increase in cases comes as President Rodrigo Duterte reverted Metro Manila and nearby provinces to a stricter modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from August 4 to 18.
Metro Manila was earlier placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) that was supposed to last from August 1 to 15, but the government was prodded to change its mind after the Philippine medical community issued a “distress call” for a two-week lockdown in Mega Manila, and proposed measures for the government to take during that time. (READ: Duterte gov’t, medical societies meet to recalibrate PH pandemic response)
Researchers studying the COVID-19 outbreak in the country had estimated that even if then prevailing GCQ restrictions would be implemented “strictly and effectively” infections nationwide may reach 150,000 cases by the end of August.
In the next two weeks, the government is expected to carry out its new strategy against the coronavirus that, 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)
The rise in cases strained hospitals in the capital region, where critical care capacity was at 77% – or in the “danger zone” – as of August 4.
Starting August 15, commuters will be required to wear face shields – on top of the mandatory face masks. – Rappler.com