Confirmed COVID-19 infections in Philippines now at 58,850

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Confirmed COVID-19 infections in Philippines now at 58,850
Health worker at Rosario Maclang Bautista General Hospital prepare to swab test residents of Batasan Hills in Quezon CIty last July 13, 2020. Department of Health blames Local Goverment Unit for the delay of release of covid records last Sunday.
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines (Update 1, 6:09 p.m.) — The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in the Philippines climbed to 58,850 Wednesday after 1,392 more people have contracted the severe respiratory illness.

The Department of Health said that of the newly-announced cases, 512 were patients who tested positive in the last three days, while 880 were confirmed to have been infected at least four days ago.

Half of the additional cases or 708 were from Metro Manila, followed by Cebu with 198 cases. Iloilo, Laguna and Cavite accounted for 86, 64 and 46 of these cases, respectively. 

The country has been experiencing a surge in coronavirus infections since the national government further eased quarantine measures last month. 

The department also reported 517 additional recoveries. To date, 20,976 people have survived the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Philippines. 

But the illness claimed 11 new victims, bringing the total death toll to 1,614. Of the newly-reported deaths, five occurred in July, while six happened in June. 

The DOH said it has removed 87 duplicates from the total case count. 

As of Wednesday, the number of active cases stood at 36,260. 

President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to announce Wednesday new quarantine measures nationwide. 

Duque: We flattened the curve

In a forum ahead of Duterte’s State of the Nation Address, DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said the country has “successfully flattened the curve since April.”

In justifying his pronouncement, Duque said this was based on longer case and mortality doubling time.

His statement comes as pressure grows on hospitals amid the recent surge in cases, with several medical centers announcing they had reached full capacity of beds allotted for COVID-19 patients. 

Hours after he was criticized over his claim, the health chief said the country “bent the curve in April” after the implementation of enhanced community quarantine in March. 

“But we are seeing an increase in cases due to the expanded testing capacity and community transmission as we allow movement of people,” Duque said. 

Latest figure from the DOH showed that some 964,850 people have been tested for coronavirus. 

The novel coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 578,000 people out of at least 13.23 million infected worldwide. 

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