The Philippines on Monday, September 7, reported 1,383 new confirmed coronavirus infections – its lowest single-day tally in nearly two months.
The latest case update on Monday showed fewer than 1,500 cases, and much less than the previous low of 1,987 newly reported cases seen last Thursday, September 3.
The cases reported on Monday, however, were based on data submitted by only 88 out of 115 labs.
The last time the Philippines reported a single-day tally lower than 1,383 cases was on July 14, when 634 cases were reported. At the time, the Department of Health (DOH) said the reports came from 73 out of 82 operational labs.
Majority of the newly reported cases were still found in Metro Manila, which accounted for 525 of the 1,383 new cases. This was followed by Laguna with 137 cases, Batangas with 99 cases, Negros Occidental with 77 cases, and Cavite with 69 cases.
The DOH's latest case update raised the total number of confirmed cases to 238,727, keeping the Philippines as the country with the highest number of reported infections in Southeast Asia.
The Monday update comes after the Philippines experienced a recent surge in infections over the last month, with daily cases ranging between 4,000 to 5,000, and nearly 7,000 at one point in August.
The development also comes as researchers studying the pandemic in the Philippine said the coronavirus curve in Metro Manila – the epicenter of the outbreak – has flattened.
University of the Philippine mathematician Guido David said this was seen after the reproduction number, or the number of people one confirmed case can infect, fell to below one in the capital region.
Specifically, David said Metro Manila's reproduction number was at 0.99 from August 22 to 28, and declined to 0.94 from August 29 to September 4.
David said findings on the flattening of the coronavirus curve pertained only to Metro Manila and not the entire Philippines, as there were still several virus hotspots like Bacolod City and Iligan City where cases were rising.
David likewise cautioned against relaxing restrictions in Metro Manila despite the positive findings, saying the gains are not irreversible and could easily be lost if the government and the public become complacent in ensuring the virus does not spread.
Meanwhile, the DOH said the death toll due to the disease was now at 3,890, after 15 new deaths were recorded. The number of recovered patients likewise grew to 184,906, following 230 new recoveries. – Rappler.com