MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday announced that the number of COVID-19 cases in the country has breached the 20,000 mark.
The DOH logged 634 additional cases - 313 fresh cases and 321 late cases - bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 20,382.
Fresh cases are those who had their test results released and validated in the last 3 days, while late cases were validated and confirmed late.
Of the 313 fresh cases, 114 came from the National Capital Region (NCR) and 101 came from Region 7. A total of 97 came from other regions and one was a Filipino repatriate.
Of the 321 late cases, 44 came from NCR, 37 from Region 7 and 177 from other regions. A total of 63 were Filipino repatriates.
On Wednesday, the DOH said the spike in cases from Region 7 or Central Visayas was because one of the two laboratories there only submitted its accomplishment report this week.
While NCR is still considered the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the Philippines, Cebu is considered a hotspot after a spike in cases were observed last month.
According to the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group, the 64 repatriated Filipinos included in the additional cases is the “second highest number announced on a single day, following May 29’s 222 confirmed cases among repatriates.”
Last month saw a spike in the number of repatriated Filipinos with COVID-19 because of the bulk release of their test results.
The DOH also reported 95 new recoveries or a total of 4,248 recovered patients. Meanwhile, 10 new COVID-related deaths or a total of 984 fatalities were also recorded.
The DOH started using the new classification of additional cases last week after new cases spiked because of their more aggressive validation efforts. It has caused confusion among the public, but the DOH explained that it is needed to better see the actual situation of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
It also coincided with the shift to general community quarantine in Metro Manila, considered the epicenter of the outbreak, and other areas as government eased business and transportation restrictions.
The 634 additional cases reported on Thursday is the 4th highest number of cases reported in a single day, according to the ABS-CBN Data Analytics Team.
The DOH did not explain why there were more than 300 fresh cases of COVID-19 patients, though experts have said that the Philippines will only see the effect of the shift to a general community quarantine in Metro Manila and other high-risk areas in 2 weeks, the average incubation period.
People infected with COVID-19 worldwide reached more than 6.5 million on Thursday, based on the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus dashboard. This is around 200,000 people more than the day before. Of the total, 2.8 million have already recovered and more than 380,000 have died.