Philippines’ COVID-19 deaths breach 13,000-mark

Bonz Magsambol
Philippines’ COVID-19 deaths breach 13,000-mark

SWAB TESTING. Swab testing at the Noveleta Medcare Hospital in Cavite.

Dennis Abrina/Rappler

The Philippines now has 684,311 confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 91,754 are active cases

Deaths due to COVID-19 in the Philippines breached the 13,000-mark on Wednesday, March 24, as the Department of Health reported the latest tally related to coronavirus cases in the country.

The DOH reported 47 new fatalities due to COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the total to 13,039.

New infections climbed by 6,666, raising the total confirmed cases to 684,311. Meanwhile, recoveries are up by 1,072, bringing the total to 579,518.

Of the total confirmed cases, 91,754 are active cases – the highest reported active cases since the pandemic began.

On Wednesday morning, a DOH official said that cities in virus epicenter Metro Manila are now at “high to critical risk.

Dr Alethea de Guzman of the DOH Epidemiology Bureau said that a number of cities in the capital region had experienced a 200% rise in COVID-19 cases from the previous weeks.

She added that the possible effects of the government’s interventions to curb virus spread, such as the “NCR Plus” bubble, could be seen in two to 3 weeks.

Octa Research fellow Professor Ranjit Rye said that if the reproduction number (R) – the number of people that one COVID-19 positive case can infect – is still high after next week, “we may have to consider stricter quarantine classification.”

The Philippines’ current R is about 1.9.

For straight 7 days, the country has been reporting over 5,000 cases, even hitting 8,019 new cases on Monday – the highest reported daily cases since the pandemic began.

Though Wednesday’s cases eased down to over 6,000, this is still higher than the average daily cases in late February, when the surge of infections began. –

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.