COVID-19

PH coronavirus cases breach 80,000 on eve of SONA 2020

Sofia Tomacruz
PH coronavirus cases breach 80,000 on eve of SONA 2020

Thousands of locally stranded individuals availing of the free ride back to their respective provinces are gathered at the baseball stadium of the Rizal Sports Complex in Manila on Friday, July 24. They will be transported to the Quirino Grandstand for the Hatid Tulong Program of the national government after undergoing rapid tests in the morning of Saturday, July 25, where buses will send them back to various provinces. Around 10,000 locally stranded individuals, 7,000 for prelisted and 3,000 for additional walk-ins, are expected to take advantage of the 2nd batch of the Hatid Tulong program of the national government to return to the province after being locked down in metro manila due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Deployed police roam the area to remind the LSIs to maintain proper physical distancing as they set up temporary sleeping areas on the bleachers of the stadium. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

Ben Nabong/Rappler

For the 4th straight day, over 2,000 new cases are added to the Philippines' coronavirus tally

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the Philippines climbed past 80,000, after more than 2,000 new cases were added to the tally for the 4th straight day. 

The Department of Health (DOH) listed 2,110 new cases based on reports from 66 out of 90 testing labs, raising the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 80,448.

The Philippines is nearing the 85,000 cases that University of the Philippines researchers earlier projected the country would reach by July 31. 

Bulk of the newly reported cases on Sunday were counted in Metro Manila, which has been the epicenter of the country’s outbreak since the crisis began in late January.

Cases in the capital region went up by 1,345, trailed by Cebu which saw 304 newly announced cases, Laguna with 109 cases, Negros Occidental with 66, and Rizal with 40.

Despite being under general community quarantine, Metro Manila has reported 1,000-plus new cases in 10 of the last 11 days, or since July 16.

The rise in cases has strained hospitals in the capital region, where critical care capacity was at 74.9% – or in the “danger zone” – as of Friday, July 24.

The DOH also reported 39 new fatalities on Sunday, bringing the death toll to 1,932. Of these deaths, 35 took place within July, while two each occurred in June and April.

Meanwhile, the number of recoveries climbed to 26,110 after 382 more recoveries were listed. (READ: What you can do to stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic)

The DOH also said 74 duplicates were removed from the total case count, including 22 recovered cases and 3 deaths. Case validation efforts saw one previous death corrected as a recovery and two recoveries updated as deaths.

The continued spike in coronavirus cases comes as President Rodrigo Duterte is scheduled to deliver his 5th State of the Nation Address on Monday, July 27.

The penultimate address is expected to tackle the Duterte administration’s pandemic recovery plan and response to the crisis, which has been criticized for its heavily militarized approach. 

Malacañang earlier warned that if coronavirus cases continue to increase in Metro Manila, the government may place the metropolis under modified enhanced community quarantine again, dampening hopes of swifter economic recovery. – 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.