DOH monitors 638 coronavirus clusters nationwide, as PH cases top 68,000

The Philippines on Monday, July 20, tallied over 68,000 confirmed coronavirus cases as it reported more than 1,500 recent infections and a growing number of clusters of cases nationwide. 

Reports from 62 out of 84 testing laboratories listed 1,521 newly reported cases, bringing the total confirmed cases to 68,898. The number edged closer to the projection by University of the Philippines researchers of some 85,000 cases by the end of the month. 

Case numbers are growing throughout the country, with majority of new cases found in Metro Manila. Clusters of cases have also been increasing across the country as the virus continues to spread. 

The Department of Health (DOH) said in a separate briefing on Monday morning it was monitoring a total of 638 clusters nationwide, with 79 additional areas of clustering reported from July 15 to 17. 

This included clusters in 49 hospitals and health facilities and 24 prisons previously reported, and a total of 513 clusters in communities:  

  • Metro Manila: 170
  • Central Visayas: 122
  • Calabarzon: 55
  • Eastern Visayas: 36
  • Central Luzon: 25
  • Davao Region: 20
  • Western Visayas: 20
  • Bicol Region: 13
  • Northern Mindanao: 12
  • Zamboanga Peninsula: 11
  • Caraga: 8
  • Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao: 7
  • Cagayan Valley: 5
  • Soccsksargen: 4
  • Mimaropa: 3
  • Cordillera Administrative Region: 2

Metro Manila likewise reported its 5th straight day with over 1,000 new cases reported. Previous days saw new cases at 1,872 on July 16; 1,079 on July 17; 1,805 on July 18; and 1,625 on July 19, according to DOH's dataset as of July 19.

The DOH attributed the rise in cases over the last few days to increased mobility and contact among the population. While increased testing has also detected more cases, this alone does not account for the increase in cases, as the number of people hospitalized and the percentage of people testing positive are also rising, signaling the virus is still spreading. 

Still, findings from researchers and the DOH showed the death rate has decreased due to better management of patients and improvements in the country’s health care system.

As of Monday, 4 new deaths were reported, bringing the death toll to 1,835. The number of recoveries stands at 23,072, boosted by 607 newly reported recoveries. – Rappler.com

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs and is the lead reporter on the coronavirus pandemic. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter via @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.

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