PH coronavirus cases jump by 538; total cases now 2,084

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines now has 2,084 coronavirus cases as the Department of Health (DOH) reported 538 new cases on Tuesday, March 31, the biggest single-day increase so far.

The DOH also confirmed that 10 more patients died due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), raising the death toll in the country to 88.

Seven more patients recovered from the disease, bringing the total number recoveries  to 49.

The DOH earlier said that there would be a spike in cases in the country as more tests are conducted. More testing kits arrived in the country in the last couple of weeks, both government purchases and donations from other governments.

Health experts have estimated that the number of coronavirus cases in the country may reach anywhere between 26,000 to 75,000. (READ: Ex-DOH chief: Actual number of virus cases could reach 75,000 in 2 weeks)

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier signed Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act which grants himself 30 special powers to address the coronavirus outbreak.

One such special power is the power to temporarily do away with the original purpose of an allocation so that any of its unspent balance can be used to fight the new virus. The first weekly report on its implementation showed that the President had yet to exercise his budget powers fully.

Midway into the Luzon-wide lockdown to stem the spread of the virus, the government's plan to convert various facilities in and outside Metro Manila into quarantine centers has yet to roll out. (READ: Week 3 of lockdown: No national quarantine centers yet)

The lockdown in Luzon will last until April 12, and in Metro Manila until April 14, but it could be lifted earlier or extended depending on the situation. 

On Tuesday, the Inter-Agency Task Force on the coronavirus ordered its technical working group to finalize guidelines on the extension, expansion, modification, or lifting of the Luzon lockdown, amid speculation that it would be extended for 60 days – which the IATF had denied.– Rappler.com

 

 

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.

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