3,550 new COVID-19 cases take Philippine tally close to 273,000-mark

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 16 2020 04:02 PM | Updated as of Sep 16 2020 09:43 PM

A man in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) carries an UltraViolet (UV) light tool as he disinfects one of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) passenger cabin in Manila on September 14, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The Philippines reported 3,550 additional COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, bringing the total to 272,934, as more than 50 areas in the country, according to a health official, were observed to have posted an increase in coronavirus infections.

This is the 9th straight day that additional cases were more than 3,000. Before that, the Philippines saw a decline in cases, with the daily tally dropping to just around 1,000, to 2,000. 

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said earlier in the day that the continued increase in COVID-19 cases is due to multiple factors, and that the daily tally of additional cases are from both regular and delayed reporting of laboratories. 

She said the spike can also be partly attributed to the country’s expanded testing.

Of the additional cases on Wednesday, 1,459 are from the National Capital Region, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. Other top areas logging high number of cases are Rizal with 271 cases, Cavite with 196, Bulacan with 172 and Laguna with 172. Majority or 84% of the additional cases occurred in the last 2 weeks.

Vergeire said they recorded 5 additional COVID-19 clusters in Region 4A where Rizal, Cavite and Laguna belong. Meanwhile, there were 4 more clusters in Bulacan.

With 524 additional recovered patients and 69 additional COVID-related deaths, there are now 60,344 active cases or current infections in the country. 

The total number of recoveries is 207,858, while the total number of fatalities is 4,732. Almost half of the additional deaths occurred in September (34 fatalities), followed by August (18), July (10), June (4), May (2) and April (1).

The Department of Health reported 7 laboratories unable to submit their test results in time for Wednesday’s tally: 

  1. Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital and Sanitarium (TALA)
  2. Lanao del Norte Covid-19 Testing Laboratory
  3. Las Piñas General Hospital and Satellite Trauma Center
  4. Metro Iloilo Hospital and Medical Center
  5. Oriental Mindoro Provincial Hospital
  6. Safeguard DNA Diagnostics
  7. Valenzuela Hope Molecular Laboratory

A total of 23 duplicate cases, including 9 tagged as recovered, were removed from the previous tally.

“Moreover, there were nine (9) cases that were previously reported as recovered but after final validation, they were deaths,” the DOH said.

The DOH said a week ago that COVID-19 cases will be “irregularly high” in the coming days because of laboratories trying to catch up on their delayed reporting.