Motorist crossing the border of Rosales and Balungao towns in Pangasinan gets disinfected last March 24, 2020.
The STAR/Michael Varcas
Philippines logs 84 new COVID-19 cases, national total now at 636
Gaea Katreena Cabico ( - March 25, 2020 - 4:28pm

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 4:50 p.m.) — The confirmed new coronavirus infections in the Philippines soared toward 636 Wednesday afternoon as President Rodrigo Duterte approved a bill granting him additional powers to address the escalating health crisis in the country.

There are now 636 cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country after health authorities detected 84 new cases.

Three additional deaths were recorded, bringing the national toll to 38.

The country’s 36th fatality was a 56-year-old Filipino male from Quezon City with no travel and exposure history. Identified as Patient 319, he passed away on March 22 due to community acquired pneumonia secondary to COVID-19.

A 57-year-old male from Caloocan City also passed away on March 16 but was only confirmed positive for COVID-19 on March 21 due to acute respiratory distress syndrome secondary to community acquired pneumonia high risk and COVID-19.

The man, identified as Patient 326, had no travel and known exposure history.

The country’s 39th COVID-19 death was Patient 29, a 82-year-old Filipino female from Marikina City. She had a travel history to the United States and had exposure to a known COVID-19 case.

She passed away on March 23 due to shock multifactorial, ARDS secondary to COVID-19 pneumonia and acute renal failure secondary to sepsis.

Data from the Department of Foreign Affairs also showed that two overseas Filipinos have died from the virus—one in the Asia Pacific region and one in Europe.

As of March 24, 169 overseas Filipinos in 25 countries and regions have been infected by the new coronavirus. The DFA said 77 are undergoing treatment while 90 have recovered or have been discharged.

Meanwhile, DOH reported six recoveries, raising the number of recovered patients to 26.

With authorities stepping up testing, they are expecting that the number of cases in the country will balloon in the coming days.

Widespread testing is crucial in the fight of virus-hit countries such as South Korea and Singapore against the pandemic as it allows authorities to isolate and treat infected people.

With the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act of 2020 signed, Duterte is given the authority to reshuffle funds in this year’s budget to provide assistance to 18 million low-income households.

The measure also ensures that healthcare workers get special risk allowance on top of their hazard pay.

The coronavirus pandemic has infected nearly 418,000 people across the globe and killed more than 18,000 since the virus first emerged in China late last year.

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: March 28, 2020 - 6:29pm

Follow this page for updates on a mysterious pneumonia outbreak that has struck dozens of people in China.

March 28, 2020 - 6:29pm

Iran announces that 139 more people had died from the novel coronavirus, raising the official death toll to 2,517 in one of the world's worst-affected countries.

Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour says in a press conference that 3,076 more cases had been confirmed in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of infections to 35,408. — AFP

March 28, 2020 - 3:53pm

Actress Iza Calzado tested positive for the coronavirus disease, her manager says.

March 28, 2020 - 1:30pm

Toyota Makati Inc. announces that a team member tested positive for COVID-19.

"The safety and security of our employees, customers, and all of our stakeholders, is paramount to us. Keeping this in mind, and under the guidance and support of the relevant national and local authorities, we are taking immediate and comprehensive actions necessary, including disinfection of the dealership, to prevent any spread of the virus," the company says.

"Furthermore, all employees who have had close contact with the infected member have been quarantined," it adds.

March 28, 2020 - 10:43am

The United States now has more than 100,000 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus, a tracker maintained by Johns Hopkins University shows.

There have been 100,717 cases including 1,544 deaths as of 6:00 pm Eastern time (2200 GMT).

The biggest cluster by far is in New York, home to almost half the cases, overwhelming the hospital system. — AFP 

March 28, 2020 - 9:08am

Manila Development Authority General Manager Jojo Garcia has tested positive for the coronavirus disease.

“I wish to inform everyone that I will have to work from home as I have been found positive for COVID-19,” Garcia says in a statement.

“I embrace this challenge with full trust and faith in God that I will overcome the same with your prayers,” he adds.

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