DOH reports 42 COVID deaths, highest in 3 months
Based on the DOH’s Case Bulletin, there were 42 new deaths recorded yesterday, bringing the total death toll to 1,360. The highest number of deaths in a single day so far was recorded in April, at 50.
The STAR/Miguel de Guzman

DOH reports 42 COVID deaths, highest in 3 months

Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - July 11, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — With 42 new deaths yesterday, the Department of Health (DOH) has documented the highest number of fatalities from coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 in three months.

Based on the DOH’s Case Bulletin, there were 42 new deaths recorded yesterday, bringing the total death toll to 1,360. The highest number of deaths in a single day so far was recorded in April, at 50.

Of the 42 deaths yesterday, 36 were recorded in Cebu.

According to DOH director for health promotion and communication service Beverly Lorraine Ho, 57 percent of the fatalities were aged 60 years old and above.

“We remind our elderly population, our parents, our grandparents to be careful during this pandemic,” she said.

The elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions and high-risk parents are the most vulnerable to the coronavirus.

Ho reported there were 1,233 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total cases to 52,914. Of the new cases, 848 were considered “fresh” while 385 were “late cases.”

“The cases that we are reporting are based on the submissions of 70 of the 79 licensed laboratories,” she noted.

She added that 286 patients have recovered from the virus, raising the total number of recoveries to 13,230.

Airborne transmission

Malacañang reiterated yesterday the need for the public to strictly observe minimum health standards after the World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledged the possible airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

“The acknowledgment of the World Health Organization that COVID-19 may be passed through air is something we leave to the health experts. We will be fully supportive of ideas based on science and hard data,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said.

Now that there is confirmation from global experts on airborne transmission, Roque said the public should all the more be conscious about complying with the health standards outlined by the government to help contain the virus.

“While the scientific community is discussing the mode of transmission of COVID-19, we call on our citizens to continue observing minimum public health standards, such as wearing of masks, washing of hands and practicing social distancing,” he said.

The development came while the Philippines moves toward reopening the economy despite the continuous risk posed by the coronavirus.

Roque repeatedly called for everyone to ensure that people with co-morbidity and those considered part of vulnerable groups would abide with the stay-at-home guidelines.

“Let us continue to protect people who are considered vulnerable, which include but not limited to our senior citizens, those with co-morbidities, pregnant women, by staying at home to save lives,” he said.

Roque is confident that a majority of Filipinos will be able to follow the health protocols.

“Filipinos demonstrated this before, when more than 8 out of 10 people believe that stay-at-home measures are worth it to save lives, according to a recent survey. We can do it again so together we can heal and recover as one,” he said.

Top government officials have been one in saying that President Duterte’s decision to impose lockdowns last March 15 allowed the government to buy time in boosting healthcare capacity and deter massive contamination among the general population.

On Tuesday, WHO officials acknowledged evidence emerging of the airborne spread of the coronavirus, after a group of scientists urged the global body to update its guidance on how the respiratory disease passes between people.

“We have been talking about the possibility of airborne transmission and aerosol transmission as one of the modes of transmission of COVID-19,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead on the COVID-19 pandemic at the WHO. ?At the onset of the pandemic early this year, the WHO said SARS-CoV-2 spreads primarily through small droplets expelled from the nose and mouth of an infected person. Christina Mendez

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