PH coronavirus cases climb to 12,718, deaths now at 831


MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health announced 205 more coronavirus cases, pushing to 12,718 the total number of confirmed cases in the country as of Monday, May 18. 

There were 7 new deaths, raising the death toll due to the disease to 831. 

Another 94 patients recovered, bringing the total number of recoveries to 2,729.  

The DOH said of the 205 new cases recorded, 145 or 83% were found in Metro Manila, while 52 (16%) were found in other regions, and 8 or 1% in Central Visayas. 

Cases continued to increase in the country as quarantine restrictions were eased in majority of areas, except for Cebu City and Mandaue City which remain on lockdown or an enhanced community quarantine.  

Metro Manila, Laguna, Bataan, Angeles City, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, and Zambales were placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) on May 16, following two months of strict quarantine measures. 

Meanwhile, the rest of the country was placed under general community quarantine. The new measures are set to stay in place until May 31, after which the government is again expected to reassess quarantine protocols to impose on specific areas.

Yet as early as Monday, the third day of the MECQ, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque – who is also the spokesperson for the government’s coronavirus task force – warned Malacañang could once again place Metro Manila and other areas under lockdown should cases spike under eased restrictions. 

After two months of being on lockdown, the first few days of MECQ  saw Filipinos flocking to malls and other areas in droves, prompting concern over a deadly increase in cases that could overwhelm the country’s healthcare system. 

Meanwhile, with more workers expected to leave their homes as additional businesses are allowed to operate, government has yet to pursue more aggressive mass testing needed to obtain an accurate picture of the disease’s spread. – 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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