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Philippines logs record-high 382 new deaths
The new record pushed to 13,817 the nationwide number of fatalities related to the coronavirus pandemic.
STAR/Michael Varcas, file

Philippines logs record-high 382 new deaths

Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) - April 7, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) yesterday reported 382 COVID-related deaths in a single day, a record high since the pandemic struck a year ago.

The new record pushed to 13,817 the nationwide number of fatalities related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite this, the DOH insisted that the cumulative case fatality rate for the country remains low at 1.7 percent.

“There has been no reported spike in the number of deaths anywhere in the country,” it said.

Health authorities attributed the record high number of fatalities to the inclusion of previously unreported deaths caused by a “technical issue” in the case collection systems.

“A technical issue with the case collection systems resulted in lower reporting of COVID death counts over the past week. The issue caused incomplete fatality numbers and data to be encoded and, as a result, there were 341 deaths prior to April 2021 that went unreported,” the DOH said in a statement.

According to the agency, the figure reported yesterday already included the unreported deaths in the previous count.

It gave assurance that, upon learning of the system malfunction, appropriate action to resolve the issue was taken.

The DOH pointed out that the average deaths per day for March is at 28, a figure comparable to the daily average in February and lower than the 32 daily average deaths in January.

Yesterday, the DOH logged an additional 9,373 COVID-19 cases, bringing to 812,760 the total number of confirmed cases nationwide. Of the total, 18.8 percent or 152,562 are active.

The number of those who recovered reached 646,381 or 79.5 percent of total cases with the inclusion of 313 additional recoveries.

Isolation in car

With hospitals in Metro Manila already full with COVID-19 patients, a man positive for the virus decided to isolate himself in his vehicle that he parked inside the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

The man, in his 50s, was found by police officers on Saturday, March 27, already weak.

“His car’s engine was running, prompting policemen to take a look,” journalist Aris Ilagan told The STAR in a phone interview.?Ilagan declined to identify the patient – his long-time friend – out of respect for his family, but he revealed that there were food rations, medicines and water inside the car.

Those were what he had to support himself in his self-isolation, he added.

According to Ilagan, the man told him by phone on Friday that he was positive for COVID-19 and that he was doing well.?“He also asked for (cellphone) load because there was no place for him to buy it.”

When he was found, police officers immediately checked on the man’s condition and gave him initial medical care.

As the PNP General Hospital and quarantine facilities in Camp Crame were already full with police infected with COVID-19, they had no other option but to bring him to another medical facility.

An ambulance took him to a hospital outside Metro Manila where he eventually died on Sunday, March 28 at around 1:30 a.m.?Ilagan shared his friend’s story as a reminder to the public of the plight of the current health care system.

He said his friend probably wanted to isolate at Camp Crame but changed his mind after seeing that the quarantine facilities were full.

PNP isolation facilities are reserved for police frontliners infected with the virus. – Emmanuel Tupas

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