The Department of Health (DOH) announced that 262 more Filipinos tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the number of confirmed cases in the Philippines to 9,485 as of Monday, May 4.
Of the 262 new cases, 122 were recorded in Metro Manila while 88 were found in Central Visayas. The DOH said 52 more cases were counted in other regions.
The death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 623, after 16 new deaths were recorded overnight.
The DOH said another 101 patients have recovered, bringing the total number of recoveries to 1,315.
The increase in cases comes as Metro Manila enters its 8th week on lockdown earlier implemented to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier decided to extend again the lockdown imposed on Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon to May 15. Outside Luzon, lockdowns have also been implemented in Cebu province, including Cebu City, Antique, Iloilo, Davao del Norte, and Davao City until May 15.
Meanwhile, other provinces and cities considered to have moderate or low risk of outbreaks observe general community quarantine.
The government is aiming to transition areas under an enhanced community quarantine to a general community quarantine after May 16, but it will monitor first epidemiological trends as well as the country's testing and healthcare capacity before deciding how to move forward.
Among the programs being pioritized by the government is its expanded coronavirus testing program, where health workers and individuals considered "at risk" of contracting the disease will be prioritized in testing.
Health experts earlier said expanded testing is crucial to clearly understanding the extent of the disease's spread in the county – something officials are sill struggling to achieve months after the outbreak started. – Rappler.com