COVID-19 cases in Philippines rise to 346,536 with nearly 2,000 new infections
A worker wearing a face mask fixes a decoration shaped like the Eiffel tower next to others displayed for sale on a road in San Fernando, Pampanga province on October 6, 2020.
AFP/Ted Aljibe
COVID-19 cases in Philippines rise to 346,536 with nearly 2,000 new infections
Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - October 14, 2020 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health reported 1,910 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases in the country to over 346,000.

To date, the new coronavirus has infected 346,536 people in the Philippines, of which 13% were active cases or people still undergoing treatment or quarantine.

This was the second consecutive day that additional COVID-19 cases were fewer than 2,000. Wednesday’s figure was based on the submission of all but 11 testing laboratories. 

Latest data from the department showed that 624 or 33% of the newly-reported cases were from Metro Manila. It was followed by Cavite (219), Batangas (104), Rizal (91) and Negros Occidental (63).

The DOH also reported 78 new deaths due to COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 6,449. Most of the additional fatalities were from Metro Manila (35) and Calabarzon (12). 

Meanwhile, the number of recoveries is up by 579, raising the total to 293,860. Total recoveries accounted for around 85% of the country’s confirmed cases.

OCTA research team's recommendation

Researchers studying the coronavirus pandemic in the country recommended that the towns of Bauan in Batangas, Calbayog in Western Samar and General Trias in Cavite be reverted to stricter quarantine classification due to spikes in COVID-19 cases.

This prompted the Malacañang to urge the OCTA Research team to avoid publicizing their recommendations on quarantine status in the country to avoid pre-empting the government. Professor Guido David, OCTA Research team member, said in a CNN Philippines interview that the group has been “doing this as a public service.”

In a press briefing Wednesday, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the department "notes" the research team's recommendations. 

"We are noting different recommendations coming from different institutions and this recommendation, when we looked at the data, the analysis is the same," Vergeire said in Filipino. 

She added that the major determinant for imposing or easing quarantine measures is the health system capacity of a certain area. 

The Cabinet approved a one-seat-apart rule on public transport and allowed the expansion of the age bracket of people who can go out as the country reopens its economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 3.976 million people have been tested for coronavirus in the country. 

The Philippines has the most number of COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia and among the top 20 countries in terms of coronavirus infections despite implementing one of the longest lockdowns.

COVID-19 has so far claimed the lives of 1.08 million victims from more than 38 million recorded infections since the virus emerged in China late last year.

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