Philippine coronavirus cases breach 56,000

The total number of confirmed cases in the Philippines rose to 56,259 as of Sunday, July 12, following 2,124 cases newly-reported from across the country. 

The Department of Health gave the updated figures for Sunday on Monday morning, July 13, after health officials failed to deliver an update on Sunday itself – a first since the outbreak started.  

The newly reported cases include 1,690 fresh cases and 434 late cases. Fresh cases cover tests results released to patients in the last 3 days while late cases refers to results released to patients 4 or more days ago. 

The latest count of over 56,000 cases edges closer to the 60,000 projected cases researchers from the University of the Philippines earlier estimated could be seen in the country by the end of July, as there was still “significant” community transmission of the disease.

Before this, the Philippines reported over 54,000 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Saturday, July 11, including 1,372 deaths and 14,037 recoveries. 

The number of deaths also grew to 1,534 on Sunday, after 162 new fatalities were reported.

The number makes for the largest number of fatalities reported so far since the start of the outbreak. However, DOH said the deaths go as far back as May, when 20 occurred, while 90 deaths occurred in June and another 51 took place in July.  

Majority of the deaths, about 61%, were seen in Central Visayas, which recently saw a surge in cases, particularly in Cebu City and surrounding provinces. This was followed by Metro Manila where 22.8% of deaths occurred. 

Recoveries climbed further to 16,046, after 2,009 patients recovered from the coronavirus disease. The number again makes for the largest number of recoveries as the DOH said additional figures came from local government units' records and were only included in the health department's count over the weekend. 

Of the 56,259 known cases, the DOH said 38,679 were active cases. 

Increase continues

This is now the 10th day the DOH has been tallying over 1,000 confirmed coronavirus infections daily. 

The 2,124 new cases likewise makes for the 3rd largest number of newly reported cases since the start of the outbreak. The highest single-day increase was seen on July 8, when the DOH reported 2,539 newly-confirmed cases of the disease

The DOH earlier attributed the rise in cases to a number of factors, which included increased testing capacity, though it also warned there was sustained community transmission of the disease due to increased contact and mobility among populations seen as quarantine restrictions were eased. 

DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told the public to expect an increase in deaths, as well as recoveries, as the health department enhances its data collection and management system. 

Vergeire also appealed to the public to continue to strictly follow health protocols to prevent a spike in deaths seen in March. 

These health practices include always wearing a mask when out in public spaces, practicing frequent hand washing, staying home, and practicing physical distancing. Experts and studies note that observing these practices can greatly reduce the risk of contracting and spreading the disease. – Rappler.com

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs, the overseas Filipino workers, and elections. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.

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