COVID-19 cases in Philippines soar to 15,588 with biggest daily rise
Gaea Katreena Cabico ( - May 28, 2020 - 4:12pm

MANILA, Philippines (Update 1, 5:06 p.m.) — The number of coronavirus infections in the country jumped to 15,588 Thursday, three days before quarantine restrictions across the archipelago were expected to be relaxed further. 

The Department of Health reported 539 new COVID-19 cases—the biggest single-day increase since the outbreak began in the country. Thursday’s figure surpassed the 538 additional infections logged on March 31.

Broken down, 61% of the new cases were from outbreak epicenter Metro Manila, 10% were detected in Central Visayas, while 19% were detected elsewhere.

Repatriated overseas Filipino workers accounted for another 10% of the additional infections.

“Kumpara sa mga nakaraang araw, ang trend ng bilang ng mga kaso ay tumataas ngunit dahil po ito sa pagtaas ng bilang ng mga kasong navavalidate na natin sa ngayon dahil nakapag-hire na tayo ng additional encoders,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a DOH briefing Thursday afternoon. 

(The number of cases is increasing these days due to the increase in the number of cases that have been validated after the hiring of additional encoders).

Vergeire earlier said the DOH is eyeing to reduce the testing backlog—which stood at 3,683 Wednesday—to zero by Thursday evening. 

Currently, there are 42 laboratories nationwide capable of processing samples. Some 289,732 individuals have been tested in the Philippines as of May 26.

Deaths exceed 900-level

The DOH also reported that the number of recoveries climbed to 3,598 with the recovery of 92 more patients.

But 17 additional deaths were registered, taking the nation’s death toll to 921. 

The number of active cases stood at 11,069 Thursday.  

President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to decide tonight on whether restrictions on movement will be further eased nationwide. Malacañang said Thursday that the capital region is “ready” for a shift to looser general community quarantine. 

The novel coronavirus pandemic has infected at least 5.6 million people and killed more than 355,000 since it first emerged in China in December last year.

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