High numbers in WHO report credited to spike in virus cases in Visayas, ramped-up testing | Inquirer News

High numbers in WHO report credited to spike in virus cases in Visayas, ramped-up testing

By: - Reporter / @KAguilarINQ
/ 05:25 PM June 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Central Visayas, combined with the government’s ramped-up testing capacities are the reasons behind the big numbers logged by the Philippines in the World Health Organization’s report, deputy chief implementer of the COVID-19 response Vince Dizon said Monday.

WHO earlier reported that the country had the fastest rise of COVID-19 cases in the Western Pacific region with 8,100 new cases recorded since June 16.

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“I think the WHO report accounts for two things. The first is the spike in cases in Central Visayas, which is really spiking. And there is a very urgent situation in Region VII, especially in Cebu City,” Dizon said in an interview over CNN Philippines.

There are at least 4,900 COVID-19 cases in Cebu City alone as of Sunday.

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“The second — and I think it’s very important to understand this — is that our tests have drastically increased since April and May,” he added.

Dizon said only about a hundred thousand tests were conducted by April.

“Now, I think we are at 650-plus thousand tests. There has been a huge ramp-up in tests conducted,” he said.

“As we ramp up that testing, we are going to find those undetected COVID cases. Hence, the fast increase in cases that we’re seeing now,” he went on.

Earlier, Dizon said the country has a testing capacity of over 50,000 per day, but actual tests being done by all accredited laboratories are at 16,000 per day.

Nationwide, there are already over 36,438 COVID-19 cases as of Monday, of which total recoveries have  increased to 9,956, while total death count climbed to 1,255.

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TAGS: Cebu City, Central Visayas, coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19, Vince Dizon, Western Pacific region, World Health Organization
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