Philippines reports 214 new COVID-19 cases, total at 12,305

MANILA (Xinhua) – The Philippines yesterday reported that 214 more people have been stricken with the coronavirus disease, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases in the country to 12,305.

The Department of Health (DOH) said in a bulletin that 101 more patients have recovered from the disease, bringing the number of recoveries to 2,561. It said that 11 more patients have died from the COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 817.

According to the DOH, 147 cases or 69 per cent of the daily cases were reported in Metro Manila and 67 cases or 31 percent were reported from other parts of the country.

The Philippines yesterday began scaling down its coronavirus restrictions after moving to a ‘modified’ quarantine level that allows many industries, including malls, to operate to get the economy moving.

However, health authorities urged people to stay at home and avoid non-essential movement while the restrictions are eased. “Stay at home so we can stop and completely eradicate the spread of COVID-19,” the DOH said in an advisory, stressing the importance of physical distancing, wearing masks when outside and proper hygiene.

A driver installs cellophane seat dividers in a passenger jeepney to comply with government-imposed social distancing rules against the COVID-19 in San Fernando town, Pampanga province, north of Manila. PHOTO: AFP

Provinces and cities with high rate virus transmission such as the capital Manila will be under strict ‘modified’ lockdown measures until May 31.

Under the country’s ‘modified’ coronavirus lockdown measures, residents are required to stay home aside from essential work, grocery shopping, and ‘limited’ outdoor exercise near their homes.

The Philippines’ economic growth is projected to contract by 2.0 to 3.4 per cent in 2020 due to COVID-19 that continues to ravage the country, the government said on Wednesday.

The National Economic and Development Authority estimates suggest that the potential impact of the pandemic on the economy could reach PHP2.0 trillion (about USD39.77 billion) or about 9.4 per cent of GDP this year.