MANILA — There are now 153,660 total confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines with 6,216 more infections reported Friday, a few days before a stricter lockdown in epicenter Metro Manila and nearby provinces is set to lapse.
This is the 2nd highest number of additional COVID-19 cases reported in a single day, with the record-high at 6,901 on August 10.
Earlier this month, researchers from the University of the Philippines and the University of Santo Tomas estimated that the country's COVID-19 cases may reach 150,000 by the end of August.
Another UP group, the UP COVID-19 Pandemic Response Team, recently estimated that cases would go up to as high as 209,000 by the end of the month. The UP OCTA Research Group, which did the study with UST, told ABS-CBN News on Friday that their updated estimate is now at 195,000 for the end of August.
Majority of the additional cases came from the National Capital Region (3,848 cases), followed by Laguna (302), Rizal (242), Cavite (240) and Bulacan (178).
The DOH said there were also 278 cases among returning overseas Filipinos.
“Of these newly reported cases, 4,973 (80%) occurred within the recent 14 days (August 1-14, 2020),” the DOH said in its advisory. Of the recent cases, 61% were from NCR while 18% were from Region 4A.
“For NCR, 45% of new cases were from three cities. Laguna, Rizal, and Cavite remain the top three provinces in Calabarzon where new cases are reported,” the DOH added.
With 1,038 additional recovered patients and 16 additional COVID-related deaths, there are now 79,813 active cases in the country. Active cases refer to patients who are still infected with COVID-19 and are staying either in the hospital or under home quarantine.
The total number of recoveries is at 71,405 or 46% of total cases while the total number of fatalities is at 2,442.
Half of the 16 additional deaths happened in August, 4 in July, 3 in April and 1 in May. Majority of the deaths from August were from NCR.
The DOH said it removed 81 duplicate cases from the previous tally, including one tagged as recovered.
“There's also one (1) recovered case found to be negative and was removed in total case count. We also updated the health status of 15 cases that were previously reported as recovered but after final validation, they were deaths (4) and active (11) cases,” DOH said.
The Philippines has been logging record-high numbers in terms of new COVID-19 cases since late July, following the easing of quarantine measures and the gradual reopening of the economy.
There has been no apparent letup in the rise even while Metro Manila and surrounding provinces reverted to a stricter modified enhanced community quarantine on August 4, with the restriction to remain in effect until August 18.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Friday morning said in a virtual briefing that the “bulk of cases are in the productive age group of 20 to 59 years old.”
“Ito ang working group natin kasi sila na ang lumalabas, nagtatrabaho,” she explained. “The drivers of the infection - 'pag tinignan natin - 'yung lumalabas ng bahay. 'Pag umuwi sila sila ang magdadala ng infection sa kani-kanilang tahanan.”
(The drivers of infection - when we look at the data - are those who go out of their homes. When they return, they are the ones who bring the infection to their homes.)
After Metro Manila and nearby provinces reverted to the relatively stricter modified enhanced community quarantine, the government said it would recalibrate its COVID-19 response with the help of the medical sector.