With 119,460 infections, Philippines overtakes Indonesia for most COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia
Airline ground staff wearing protective gear work at the counter at the airport in Manila on August 4, 2020.
AFP/Ted Aljibe
With 119,460 infections, Philippines overtakes Indonesia for most COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia
Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - August 6, 2020 - 4:16pm

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 5:09 p.m.) — The Philippines saw another spike in new coronavirus infections Thursday to take its total to 119,460, overtaking Indonesia as the worst-hit country in Southeast Asia. 

The Department of Health reported 3,561 additional infections to take the national caseload ahead of Indonesia’s 118,753 cases as of Thursday, according to its health ministry. Manila has been reporting more daily cases than Jakarta for a time now. 

Outbreak epicenter Metro Manila, which returned to a tougher lockdown, was responsible for 57% or 2,041 of the newly-reported cases. Meanwhile, Laguna had 222 additional cases, Cebu had 221, Cavite had 100 and Rizal had 81. 

The number of cases has grown exponentially since the government eased movement restrictions in June. Government officials attributed this to the country’s beefed-up coronavirus testing efforts.

Two days ago, the Philippines logged record-high 6,352 additional infections.

Currently, there are 50,473 active cases or patients who are currently ill in the country. Around 91% of the active cases are mild, while around 8% are asymptomatic. 

The DOH also reported that 569 more patients had recovered, bringing the total number of COVID-19 survivors to 66,837. Total recoveries accounted for around 56% of the confirmed cases. 

The death toll, however, rose to 2,150 with the deaths of 28 more patients. Indonesia’s fatality count, meanwhile, stood at 5,452—the highest in the region.

Some 1.546 million individuals have been so far tested in the country. According to the DOH, the country’s daily testing average within the last seven days was at 28,938. 

The Philippines becoming the Southeast Asia's new virus hotspot came as the country officially entered a recession in the second quarter. Gross domestic product plunged 16.5% year-on-year from April to June, marking worst economic performance under democratic rule.  

President Rodrigo Duterte placed Metro Manila and neighboring provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite and Laguna under modified enhanced community quarantine until August 18. 

Global infections passed reached at least 18.72 million, with more than 706,000 deaths since the virus emerged in China late last year.

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: September 21, 2020 - 7:52am

Follow this page for updates on a mysterious pneumonia outbreak that has struck dozens of people in China.

September 21, 2020 - 7:52am

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 957,948 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Sunday.

At least 30,849,800 cases of coronavirus have been registered. Of these, at least 20,871,300 are now considered to have recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

September 20, 2020 - 12:31pm

London's hard-hit live entertainment sector is hoping to prove it can resurrect itself from the coronavirus shutdown — and a series of gigs from a maze of tunnels could show the way to do it.

"Lockdown Town", which opens on October 2, will see socially distanced performances of American music from the 1920s to 1950s in a network of vaulted venues near Waterloo station.

Audiences will have their temperatures checked during staggered arrival times, move from one venue to the next wearing masks, and not stay in one area for more than 15 minutes.

The number of spectators has been capped at a maximum of 360 each evening —  well below the 500-700 capacity in normal times. — AFP

September 20, 2020 - 11:05am

Italians head to the polls Sunday — to the alarm of coronavirus experts — for a referendum and regional elections that could weaken the government and radically reshape the political landscape.

Just a week after a Herculean effort by schools to reopen in line with last-minute COVID-19 rules, classrooms across the country will be shut to pupils and transformed into ballot stations for the two-day vote.

A triumph for the far-right in this fiercely fought campaign would sound alarm bells in Brussels.

It will be the first test for Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte's center-left coalition government since it imposed an economically crippling nationwide lockdown to fight the virus, which has killed almost 36,000 people.

The referendum, on slashing the number of members of parliament — from 630 to 400 in the lower house, and 315 to 200 in the upper house — is expected to pass, though there has been a late uptick in the number of prominent 'no' declarations. — AFP

September 19, 2020 - 4:05pm

The Department of Health reports 3,962 additional cases of COVID-19 infections. This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines to 283,460.

The Health department also announces 1,128 new recoveries and 100 new deaths.

September 19, 2020 - 2:12pm

Canada's conservative opposition leader Erin O'Toole tested positive for the new coronavirus, his office announces, one day after another federal party leader did, too.

Both O'Toole and Bloc Quebecois leader Yves-Francois Blanchet were "feeling well" and were self-isolating, according to statements. 

Each had had close contact with staffers who tested positive for the COVID-19 illness. — AFP

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