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COVID-19 infections in Philippines breach 458,000, deaths now at 8,911
Churchgoers attend the first day of the traditional Simbang Gabi at the Our Lady of the Abandoned church in Brgy. San Roque, Marikina City on Dec. 16, 2020.
The STAR/Walter Bollozos

COVID-19 infections in Philippines breach 458,000, deaths now at 8,911

(Philstar.com) - December 19, 2020 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health confirmed 1,491 mores cases of novel coronavirus on Saturday, bringing the national caseload to 458,044.

Of the total cases recorded, 28,047 — or 6.1% are marked active, which means these patients are still undergoing quarantine or treatment.

Recovered patients are at 421,086, after 436 more people were reported to have survived the deadly virus.

However, the DOH logged 36 new fatalities, bringing the country's total death toll to 8,911.

The country's positivity rate currently stands at 4.5%. This is based on the 26,123 people tested before 12 p.m. the day previous, 1,187 of whom tested positive.

On Friday, a week before Christmas, the country reported 2,122 new COVID-19 cases. The last time the daily tally surpassed the 2,000-level was on November 29 when the country had 2,076 additional cases.

In a push to curtail the predicted spike in cases amid the holiday season, the COVID-19 task force is requiring the public to wear full-coverage face shields on top of face masks whenever they leave their homes. Previously, face shields were only required in enclosed spaces such as malls and public transportation.

But the DOH on Friday said wearing face shields may not be advisable for certain people. "We do not recommend the use of face shield if a person has a specific condition that could lead to breathing limitations," Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in Filipino during a vitual briefing.

Vergeire added that face shields may also cause visibility problems for some workers, and in such instances, the DOH advises against wearing them as well.

It has been 279 days since parts of the country were first placed under lockdown, marking the longest community quarantine period in the world. 

Worldwide, 75.58 million people have contracted coronavirus, a staggering 1.67 million of whom have died. 

— Bella Perez-Rubio with reports from Gaea Katreena Cabico

COVID-19 NOVEL CORONAVIRUS
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