PH coronavirus cases rise to 307; deaths now at 19

The number of coronavirus cases in the Philippines rose to 307 on Saturday, March 21, as the Department of Health (DOH) reported 77 new cases.

DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a news briefing that another COVID-19 patient died on Saturday, bringing the total number of deaths in the county to 19 as of 4 pm of that day. 

Vergeire also announced 5 more patients who recovered from the disease, raising the total number of recoveries to 13.

She noted that some of the patients who recovered were "elderly" and belonged to the "vulnerable sector" or those who are most a risk in relation to the coronavirus disease.

Most of the COVID-19 deaths in the country involved the elderly, or people 60 years old and above, with underlying medical conditions.

No details were given about the latest death but earlier on Saturday, the University of the Philippines in Diliman announced that UP professor Aileen S.P. Baviera, one of the leading experts on China studies in the Philippines, died early Saturday morning due to the coronavirus disease.

Also on Saturday, House Secretary General Jose Luis Montales announced that another employee of the House of Representatives died of the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, just that morning. He was confirmed to be a coronavirus case only after his death.

The House employee was 65 years old and had underlying medical conditions. He had no history of travel to a county with COVID-19 cases, and no known exposure to a confirmed case. 

The whole of Luzon was placed on lockdown until April 12 to keep most people in their homes and stem the spread of the new virus. Areas in the Visayas and Mindanao have also gone into community quarantine.

Metro Manila will be on lockdown until April 14.

The disease has claimed the lives of more than 9,000 people and infected more than 217,500 around the world. – 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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