Hundreds of locally stranded individuals gather at the sidewalk of the Quirino Grandstand along Roxas Boulevard in Manila as they queue for rapid testing before they are allowed to board buses heading to their respective provinces as part of the Hatid Tulong program sponsored by the national government on July 4, 2020.
The STAR/Miguel de Guzman
2,099 new COVID-19 cases push Philippines' total to 46,333
Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - July 6, 2020 - 4:42pm

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 6:53 p.m.) — The Philippines clocked 2,099 new cases across the archipelago Monday, taking the country’s tally to 46,333, the Department of Health said. 

This was the second consecutive day that the number of additional cases breached the 2,000-level. 

Of the newly-confirmed cases, 1,258 were classified “fresh” or were detected in the last three days. The other 841 were “late” cases or were part of the department’s backlog. 

Most of the fresh cases werefrom Metro Manila with 601 infections, followed by Central Visayas with 280 cases. Forty-eight were from repatriates, while the remaining 329 of these cases were from other region in the country. 

Meanwhile, 397 of the late cases were detected in the capital region, while 186 were found in Central Visayas. Other regions accounted for 212 of these cases, while repatriates accounted for only eight. 

The day before, the Philippines registered 2,434 COVID-19 cases—the biggest daily spike since the first case was detected in the country in late January.

The DOH attributed the surge in cases to “increased contact among the population” as the government further eased community quarantine measures nationwide to revitalize the country’s economy bruised by months-long lockdowns.

The agency also reported 243 recoveries, pushing the total number of patients who have survived the disease to 12,185. 

But six more people died from the severe respiratory disease, raising the country’s virus death toll to 1,303. Five of these deaths occurred in June. 

The DOH said 20 duplicates were removed from total case count as total cases reported undergo constant cleaning and validation. 

Clustering of cases 

The department said most of the newly-announced fresh cases this week were from Metro Manila (1,482), Central Visayas (1,188), Calabarzon (223), Central Luzon (42), Western Visayas (41) and Northern Mindanao (36). 

“Looking at the epidemic curves around the country, the national picture shows an increase in cases. Notable is National Capital Region and its neighboring regions as cases had been rising in the past two week,” Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a briefing Monday.

The cities of Marikina, Muntinlupa, Quezon and Makati in Metro Manila were identified as emerging hotspots in the capital region. Earlier, the DOH identified parts of Visayas and Mindanao as emerging coronavirus hotspots. 

Vergeire said that cases in Visayas were seen to be “slowly decreasing.” The agency will continue to monitor of the decrease will be sustained in the area. 

The health official added the department has detected clustering of cases in 314 barangays in Metro Manila and 64 barangays in Cebu City. There were also clustering in closed-setting facilities in the capital region, which include the Metro Rail Transit line 3 and a private office. 

Following the increasing number of personnel who have caught the virus, the MRT-3 announced it will temporarily suspend operations starting Tuesday. 

Vergeire once again reminded the public to follow minimum health protocols. 

“Dapat ba natin itong ikabahala? Ang sagot po namin: oo. Dahil nakikita natin na tumataas muli ang bilang ng mga kaso. Ngunit ibig sabihin po ba nito na wala na tayong magagawa. Hindi po. May magagawa tayo meron tayong mga established protocols na dapat sundin upang makaiwas sa virus,” she said.

(Is this a cause for concern? Our answer is yes because we are seeing another increase in the number of new cases. But does this mean we can’t do anything? No. We have established protocols that we should follow to prevent from getting infected.)

Researchers projected the Philippines may see 60,000 COVID-19 cases by the end of the month if current trends continue. 

Last week, President Rodrigo Duterte announced Cebu City in Central Visayas will remain under the strictest enhanced community quarantine, while Metro Manila will stay under general community quarantine at least until the end of the month. 

The coronavirus pandemic has killed at least 533,000 people out of the over 11.4  million people worldwide since it surfaced in China late last year.

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