MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday reported 836 additional COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the Philippines to 57,006.
This is the lowest number of new daily cases since July 2.
The country, especially in the National Capital Region (NCR) and Cebu island, has seen a spike in coronavirus infections following the easing of quarantine measures in some areas last month.
Of the additional cases, 749 are considered fresh cases, which refer to test results released within the last 3 days, and 87 are “late cases," or those released at least four days ago.
The DOH said that of the fresh cases, 476 are from NCR, 8 from Region 7 or Central Visayas, and 265 tagged as “Others,” which could mean they are from other regions or they do not have any location information yet. Of the late cases, 53 are from NCR, 3 from Region 7, and 31 tagged as others.
The agency also reported 4,325 additional patients who have recovered from the infectious disease, raising the total recoveries to 20,371. This is the highest number of recoveries reported in a single day since the pandemic started.
The additional recoveries include those from the months of March, April and May.
REGION 7 DEATHS
There are also 65 additional COVID-related deaths, which is the 2nd highest reported in a day, bringing the total number of fatalities to 1,599.
Of the 65 additional deaths, only 9 occurred in July while 54 happened in June, and 2 in May. Of the 9 deaths in July, 6 are from Cebu province.
A breakdown of Monday's new fatalities showed that majority (59 cases or 91%) are from Central Visayas, where a couple of the emerging COVID-19 hotspots have been identified. Four other fatalities are from NCR, 1 from Region 11, and 1 who was listed without a region yet.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said more than half of those who died are aged 60 years and above. She reminded the public to be careful and protect the elderly population.
The number of new recoveries and deaths spiked over the weekend as the DOH reconciled its data with local government units. Many of these are from previous months.
The additional data reported on Monday is only based on 57 out of 82 laboratories authorized to conduct COVID-19 tests.
The DOH said it removed 89 duplicate cases from the total tally.
The total number of active cases or those who have not yet recovered is 35,036.
FLATTENING THE CURVE?
Vergeire said the DOH has reported an average of 1,171 new cases per day in July, based on the date of reporting. But based on the date of illness of the patients, the average is 776 cases per day.
"Mas marami ito sa buwan ng Hunyo dahil sa pagtaas ng kaso sa mga binabantayan nating lugar,” she said.
(This is more than what we reported in June because of the rise in cases in the areas we are monitoring.)
Vergeire said that despite the continued spread of COVID-19, the Philippines has improved its case doubling time to 8.18 days nationwide. This means that the number of new cases is taking longer to double in number.
The case doubling time is even longer for NCR at 8.89 days, and Cebu City at 8.25 days.
“This means that it takes more than a week for the number of cases to double and have enough resources to address the current needs,” she said.
Vergeire said the numbers improved compared to last week.
Asked if the country is already flattening the epidemic curve, she said that while there is an increase in cases because of local transmission and expanded testing, “the increase has been gradual and our health system is able to cope with the increasing number of cases.”
She reminded the public to continue wearing face masks and practice physical distancing.
There are now 12.9 million people worldwide who have been infected with COVID-19, based on the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus dashboard. More than half or 7.1 million of them have already recovered, while 569,000 have died.