Philippines logs 205 new COVID-19 cases, tally rises to 12,718
A security guard (R) watches as a shopper (L) exits from a disinfection channel installed at the entrance of a shopping mall as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Manila on May 16, 2020.
AFP/Ted Aljibe
Philippines logs 205 new COVID-19 cases, tally rises to 12,718
Gaea Katreena Cabico ( - May 18, 2020 - 4:10pm

MANILA, Philippines (Updated, 5:34 p.m.) — The Philippines saw its novel coronavirus reach 12,718 Monday with the addition of 205 more COVID-19 infections, the Department of Health said. 

Of the new cases, 83% were reported in outbreak epicenter Metro Manila, which is on its third day of eased confinement measures that allowed the reopening of shopping malls and the return of Filipinos to work at half capacity in many industries. 

Central Visayas only accounted for one percent of the additional infections, while 16% were spread out across the archipelago. 

DOH added that 94 more people have recovered from COVID-19, pushing the number of those who have survived the disease to 2,729. 

But seven more died due to the illness. This brought to 831 the nation’s fatality count. 

Data from the department showed that 184,857 people in the Philippines had been tested as of May 16.

Government: Threat is still here 

Malacañang and DOH on Monday warned that the threat of the novel coronavirus remains even as authorities began relaxing confinement measures after a two-month lockdown. 

Photos and videos of mall-goers flocking to shopping centers and seemingly ignoring safety protocols over the weekend went viral after movement restrictions were eased to revitalize the economy paralyzed by the pandemic. 

“Hindi pa tapos ang COVID-19. Tayo ay nag-uumpisa pa lamang sa panibagong kabanata ng laban na ito,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said. 

(The threat of COVID-19 is not yet over. We’ve only just begun.) 

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the country’s health system and resources could be overstretched if the coronavirus outbreak in the Philippines worsens.

Metro Manila and other high-risk areas have been placed under “modified” enhanced community quarantine beginning mid-May. Other areas in the country are in varying levels of community quarantine. 

The coronavirus pandemic has killed 315,023 people worldwide since it surfaced in China late last year. There have been more than 4.7 million individuals infected in 196 countries and territories. — with a report from Agence France-Presse

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