COVID-19 cases in Philippines surge to 93,354 with record-high 4,063 new cases

MANILA (XINHUA) – The number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines surged to 93,354 after the Department of Health (DoH) reported 4,063 new cases yesterday, the largest single-day increase in confirmed cases since the highly infectious disease emerged in the country in January.

The DoH said that the number of recoveries further rose to 65,178 after it reported 165 patients have survived the disease.

The death toll also increased to 2,023 after 40 more patients have succumbed to the viral disease, the DoH said.

In a pre-recorded public address aired yesterday, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Metro Manila, which has the bulk of COVID-19 cases in the country, will remain under general community quarantine until August 15 due to the steady rise of cases, while other areas in the country are put under varying degrees of quarantine.

Metro Manila is home to about 15 million people. It has so far logged more than 50,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

A man waits for his turn to have a coronavirus rapid tests as he hopes to use the government’s transportation assistance programme to return to their outlying provinces at a stadium in Manila. PHOTO: AP

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez yesterday told a virtual media forum that the government is mulling to require Filipinos to use face shields when in public, particularly in low ventilation settings such as public transportation as an “extra step” to prevent virus transmission.

Lopez said studies have shown that wearing of face shields, in addition to wearing of masks and physical distancing, would further reduce virus transmission in low ventilation settings.

Wearing of masks, washing of hands, and the practice of social distancing are part of the minimum public health standards imposed by the government. An expert from the University of the Philippines yesterday said that the number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines is projected to hit 150,000 by the end of August.

Although the coronavirus reproduction rate in Metro Manila has decreased from 1.75 to between 1.3 and 1.4, Professor Ranjit Rye said the rate is still high. “(The rate) should be below one,” he added.