Philippines logs 13 new COVID cases; total number at 230
(The Freeman) - March 21, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  The Philippines detected 13 additional coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases on Friday, raising the total to 230 since the country first confirmed an infection in late January.

A vast majority of infections are in Luzon, prompting President Rodrigo Duterte to place the main island under enhanced community quarantine. The Department of Health also reported one new fatality, bringing the death toll to 18.

A 65-year-old Filipino male from Quezon City, identified as Patient 124, passed away on Tuesday. He had a travel history to Singapore, which has 345 confirmed cases.

Meanwhile, the number of recoveries in the Philippines still stands at eight. There are additional 506 patients under investigation for possible COVID-19 infection and 6,321 persons under monitoring.

There are concerns that the number of new coronavirus cases in the Philippines may be bigger due to the country’s very limited testing program. Only 1,269 tests have been conducted since January.

Secretary Francisco Duque III on Friday designated the UP-Philippine General Hospital and the Dr. Jose M. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital as exclusive facilities for patients infected with the new coronavirus.

This, after 11 private hospitals called on the government to centralize efforts into one or two facilities as the escalating health crisis continues to overwhelm healthcare centers.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Thursday warned that millions of people could die from COVID-19 if the virus spreads unchecked as he appealed for a coordinated global response to the pandemic. The virus has infected nearly 244,517 people across the globe and caused over 10,000 deaths. More than 86,000 have recovered. Philstar.com  (FREEMAN)

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