DOH records 539 COVID-19 cases; highest spike in a day
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health on Thursday recorded a total of 539 new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases. This was the highest spike in new cases ever recorded since the outbreak of the disease in the country.
This topped the previous record-high increase recorded last March 31 of 538 cases.
Sixty-one percent or 330 of the new cases were recorded in Metro Manila while 10% were from Central Visayas.
The total number of COVID-19 cases in the country is currently at 15,588, with 11,069 active cases.
Meanwhile, the DOH recorded 92 new recoveries, bringing the total to 3,598.
The country’s death toll rose to 921, with 17 new deaths.
This week, the country saw a gradual spike in confirmed cases, with more than 300 cases recorded in the last two days. In the past weeks, there was an average of 220 COVID-19 cases.
The DOH earlier explained that the sudden spike is caused by the inclusion of positive results from repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), among other reasons.
However, as seen on the department’s breakdown, returning OFWs only account for 10% of the new cases.
The additional number of data encoders also contributed to the increase of cases as the backlog in COVID-19 test data recording is being addressed.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire earlier said the DOH aims to finish all backlogs, which as Thursday night was at 3,683.
This is after the DOH had instructed laboratories to reduce the backlogs in two to three days on the directive of the Office of the President.
Metro Manila and other “high-risk” areas have been under strict quarantine measures since March 17, which shifted to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) starting May 15 to May 31.
The further easing up of quarantine measures is looming after the metropolis’ mayors as well as the Inter-Agency Task Force against Infectious Diseases (IATF) recommended the shift to general community quarantine (GCQ) to the President.
President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to make an announcement on the community quarantine measures on Thursday night.
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