People wearing face masks stand and pray outside an empty Quiapo church, usually filled with devotees during Fridays but now closed due to restrictions to stop the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Manila on March 27, 2020.
AFP/Ted Aljibe
Philippines reports 128 additional COVID-19 cases, 7 new deaths
Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - March 30, 2020 - 4:18pm

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 5:14 p.m.) — The Philippines on Monday reported 128 new coronavirus cases and seven additional deaths.

This raised the total number of known infections in the country to 1,546, while the death toll reached 78.

The Department on Health on Sunday reported the country’s largest daily increase in infections with 343 cases. 

Recent big jumps in the number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines were attributed to the arrival of donated test kits and the opening of new laboratories processing samples across the archipelago.

Meanwhile, the country’s death toll reached 78. The following are the latest COVID-19 fatalities in the country:

Patient 149, 72nd fatality
•    61-year-old Filipino female from Makati City with no travel and exposure history
•    Died on March 27 due to acute respiratory failure secondary to community-acquired pneumonia secondary to COVID-19

Patient 587, 73rd fatality
•    79-year-old Filipino male from Muntinlupa City with no travel history
•    Died on March 29 due to acute respiratory failure secondary to pneumonia COVID-19

Patient 647, 74th fatality
•    43-year-old Filipino male from Parañaque City with no travel and exposure history
•    Died on March 27 due to acute respiratory failure secondary to pneumonia COVID-19, myocardial dysfunction

Patient 1488, 75th fatality
•    60-year-old male from Muntinlupa City whose nationality is still for validation 
•    He has unknown travel and exposure history
•    Passed away on March 26 due to acute respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock, COVID-19

Patient 1447 – 76th fatality
•    45-year-old Filipino male from Davao City with unknown travel and exposure history
•    Passed away on March 23 but was only confirmed positive for COVID-19 on March 29
•    Died due to cardiopulmonary arrest, acute respiratory distress syndrome secondary to community-acquired pneumonia high risk, hypoxia

Patient 1446, 77th fatality
•    59-year-old Filipino male from Davao City with no travel history
•    Passed away on March 23 but was only confirmed positive for COVID-19 on March 29
•    Died due to acute respiratory distress syndrome secondary to community-acquired pneumonia high risk, hypoxia

Patient 1489, 78th fatality
•    74-year-old Filipino male from Quezon City with unknown travel and exposure history
•    Passed away on March 21 but was only confirmed positive for COVID-19 on March 27
•    Died due to acute respiratory distress syndrome secondary to pneumonia

No new recoveries were reported on Monday. The total number of recovered patients stood at 42. 

There are additional 920 patients under investigation and 6,321 persons under monitoring. 

Just a little over 3,300 people have been tested since health authorities first detected a COVID-19 infection in late January.

In virus-hit countries like South Korea and Singapore, widespread testing is crucial in their fight against the spread of the new coronavirus as it allows authorities to isolate and treat infected people. 

The country’s Food and Drug Administration approved on Monday the use of five rapid test kits but stressed that a confirmatory polymerase chain reaction-based test is still required. There are 17 PCR-test kits approved by FDA for commercial use. 

The main island of Luzon entered its third week of enhanced community quarantined aimed to arrest the spread of the contagion.

More than 721,000 people across 177 countries and region have now contracted the new coronavirus. The global death toll stands at nearly 34,000.

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