The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines jumped to 47,873 as the Department of Health (DOH) reported 1,540 new cases of the disease as of 4 pm on Tuesday, July 7.
Of the new confirmed cases, 993 are fresh, or test results released to patients in the last 3 days, while 547 are late, or those released to patients 4 days before or earlier.
The DOH reported 6 new fatalities, bringing the total death toll to 1,309.
Meanwhile, 201 more patients have recovered from the disease, bringing total recoveries to 12,386.
The number of active COVID-19 cases in the country is 34,178, which is the total case count minus recoveries and deaths, the DOH said.
Earlier on Tuesday, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the agency will introduce a new method of reporting coronavirus cases on July 10, and will cease distingushing between "fresh" and "late" cases.
The Johns Hopkins University said the Philippines has the second highest number of coronavirus cases in Southeast Asia, next to Indonesia.
Also on Tuesday, the government lifted the ban on non-essential outbound travel of Filipinos, including tourism.
Filipinos planning to travel abroad only need to present confirmed round-trip plane tickets, sufficient funds for health and travel emergencies, ensure they are not banned from their countries of destination, and fill out a "declaration" that they are aware of the risks involved in traveling during the pandemic.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the removal of the restrictions will likely take affect in mid-August.
Although the threat from the novel coronavirus is not abated, the government must also ensure that the economy keeps going, Roque added. – Rappler.com
JC Gotinga often reports about the West Philippine Sea, the communist insurgency, and terrorism as he covers national defense and security for Rappler. He enjoys telling stories about his hometown, Pasig City. JC has worked with Al Jazeera, CNN Philippines, News5, and CBN Asia.