Philippine coronavirus cases near 84,000

The Philippines now has 83,673 COVID-19 cases as the Department of Health (DOH) reported 1,687 new cases on Tuesday, July 28. 

The latest figures indicate that the country is likely to exceed the 85,000 cases that University of the Philippines researchers had earlier projected the country to reach by July 31. 

The DOH reported 4 new deaths due to COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 1,947, while the recoveries are up by 173, raising total recoveries to 26,617.

Of the total confirmed cases, 55,109 are active cases.

The latest DOH data showed that 698 or 41% of the new reported cases are from Metro Manila.

The rise in cases has strained hospitals in the capital region, where critical care capacity was at 73 % – or in the "danger zone" – as of July 26.

According to the DOH, occupancy for coronavirus and non-coronavirus beds are now at the "warning zone" nationwide.

The government warned on July 15 that it may revert the capital region under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) if COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the next two weeks. 

The DOH also said that it has 11,859 tests backlog for validation as of July 26.

President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to announce the new quarantine measures in some areas in the country by the end of the month. 

On Monday, July 27, Duterte delivered his 5th State of the Nation Address, but failed to mention the government's roadmap to fight the deadly virus. (READ: No mention of COVID-19 response roadmap in Duterte's SONA

Meanwhile, former government coronavirus adviser Tony Leachon said the Philippines missed the opportunity to address the pandemic when Metro Manila and other parts of the country were placed on lockdown in mid-March. –

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.