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Philippines records 53 new recoveries as COVID-19 infections top 5,000
Rosario Maclang Bautista General Hospital in Batasan, Quezon City is seen closed last April 14, 2020. The hospital does not accept patient as of the meantime after 15 healthcare workers were infected with COVID-19.
The STAR/Michael Varcas

Philippines records 53 new recoveries as COVID-19 infections top 5,000

Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - April 14, 2020 - 4:04pm

MANILA, Philippines (Update 1, 5:15 p.m.) — With 291 new cases of the novel coronavirus reported on Tuesday, the number of confirmed infections in the Philippines surpassed the 5,000-mark. 

In a matter of months, the new coronavirus has infected 5,223 individuals in the country, the Department of Health said in a bulletin.

The Philippines has the highest number of confirmed infections in Southeast Asia. According to John Hopkins University coronavirus tally, Malaysia has 4,817 cases, Indonesia has 4,557 cases, Singapore has 2,918 cases while Thailand has 2,613 cases.

The COVID-19 outbreak has now claimed the lives of 335 individuals in the country after additional 20 fatalities were recorded. 

Fifty-three more people have been cleared of the illness—the most number of recoveries reported in a day so far. In total, there are now 295 recovered patients in the country. 

The increase in the number of recoveries can be attributed to the inclusion of the patients with mild or no symptoms who got better while in home quarantine in the DOH tally. 

Meanwhile, 3,151 patients are still being treated in hospitals. 

The government is expected to begin its expanded COVID-19 testing on Tuesday that will cover individuals who exhibit severe flu-like symptoms, the elderly, those with pre-existing health conditions, pregnant women and healthcare workers with symptoms. 

So far, 38,103 individuals have been tested in the country.

The Department of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday reported that 44 more Filipinos abroad have been infected with COVID-19, taking the tally to 704. Of the number, 216 have recovered.

Four new deaths in the Americas and Europe were recorded. In total, 88 Filipinos have died from the new coronavirus.

Vaccine needed to fully halt spread of virus

The World Health Organization said the novel coronavirus is 10 times deadlier than the 2009 flu pandemic.

WHO said the “swine flu” or H1N1 outbreak, which was declared a pandemic in June 2009 and considered over by August 2010, killed 18,500 people. But the Lancet medical estimated the toll to be between 151,700 and 575,400.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that “control measures must be lifted slowly and with control.”

“Ultimately, the development and delivery of safe and effective vaccine will be needed to fully interrupt transmission,” he said.

It may take at least 12 to 18 months before a coronavirus vaccine to be publicly available.

More than 1.9 million confirmed cases have been recorded since the virus first emerged in central China late last year. The worldwide death toll rose to over 119,000. — with report from Agence France-Presse

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March 2, 2021 - 1:42pm

Insults, beatings, arrests — health workers battling the coronavirus were subjected to more than 400 acts of violence related to COVID-19 worldwide in 2020, according to a report published Tuesday by a health NGO.

The Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition unveiled an interactive map that shows 1,172 violent acts and attacks occurred against health workers or facilities last year, "a minimum estimate," according to the NGO.

More than a third (412) of the acts are directly related to COVID-19, it said, citing several examples including in Mexico, where a nurse was attacked and injured by a group accusing her of spreading the virus.

In Dakar, three social workers had stones hurled at them by residents who refused to have a coronavirus victim buried near their homes.

In Birmingham, England, a health worker was spat at and insulted by a neighbor.

The vast majority, 80%, of the perpetrators of the violence were civilians, but threats also came from public authorities. — AFP

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Japan will end a coronavirus state of emergency early in some regions as the pace of infection slows, reports say, less than five months before the pandemic-postponed Tokyo Olympics.

The emergency measure -- currently in force in 10 regions including Tokyo -- is looser than the strict lockdowns seen elsewhere in the world, and primarily calls for bars and restaurants to close from 8pm.

It is due to end on March 7, but the government will lift the measure this Sunday, just over a week early, in around six prefectures, the reports say. — AFP

February 26, 2021 - 8:45am

Brazil's death toll from Covid-19 surpasses a quarter-million Thursday, a year after the first case was confirmed in the country, which is struggling with vaccine shortages and a devastating second wave.

The new coronavirus has now killed 251,498 people in Brazil, according to health ministry figures — the second-highest toll worldwide, after the United States, where the number passed half a million Monday.

This has been the deadliest week yet of the pandemic in Brazil, with a daily average of 1,149 deaths over the past seven days, according to the ministry's figures. —  AFP

February 24, 2021 - 1:05pm

Fashionistas will have to log on to soak up the glamour at Milan Fashion Week, which remains online a year after the coronavirus first swept into northern Italy. 

No sharply dressed crowds will attend the extravaganza's opening on Wednesday: it's virtual catwalk shows only, with the likes of Armani and Prada presenting new women's collections for autumn and winter 2021-22. — AFP

February 23, 2021 - 11:31am

Movie theaters in New York City will partially reopen next month, Governor Andrew Cuomo announces, the latest easing of coronavirus restrictions in the Big Apple.

Cuomo says cinemas will be able to operate at 25% capacity, or up to 50 people per screen, from March 5 -- almost exactly a year since they shut. — AFP

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