PH coronavirus cases surpass 26,000

The number of coronavirus cases in the Philippines breached 26,000 on Monday, June 15, with the Department of Health (DOH) reporting 490 new cases.

The additional cases bring to 26,420 the total number of confirmed cases in the country.

Of the new cases, 348 are "fresh" while 142 others are "late." Fresh cases refer to test results released to patients in the last 3 days, while late cases cover results released to patients 4 or more days ago. 

The DOH counted 10 new fatalities, raising the death toll to 1,098.  

Another 298 patients recovered from the coronavirus, bringing total recoveries to 6,252.

The DOH earlier attributed the rise in new cases to the validation of cases that were days or weeks old.

As of Monday, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the DOH is working to clear some 2,200 cases that still need to be validated.

University of the Philippines experts earlier said there is still "significant" community transmission of the coronavirus, with the nationwide reproductive rate at 1.2. This means that if trends continue, coronavirus cases could reach 40,000 by June 30, while the death toll could reach 1,850.

The experts cautioned against further easing of quarantine restrictions, stressing that government decisions should be based on evidence.

They also called on the government to continue paying close attention to Metro Manila and Cebu, the country's main battlegrounds in the outbreak.

President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to decide on Monday if Metro Manila, Cebu City, and other areas will be downgraded to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) starting Tuesday, June 16.

MGCQ is the lowest quarantine phase where all businesses and establishments will resume operations, public transportation will return to full capacity, and gyms and cinemas will be allowed to open at half capacity. 

The following areas are under GCQ until Monday:

  • Metro Manila
  • Cagayan Valley
  • Central Luzon
  • Calabarzon
  • Pangasinan
  • Albay
  • Central Visayas
  • Cebu City
  • Mandaue City
  • Davao City
  • Zamboanga City

– Rappler.com

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs, the overseas Filipino workers, and elections. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.

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