COVID-19 cases in Philippines top 100,000

MANILA (XINHUA) – The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines surged to 103,185 after the Department of Health (DoH) reported a record-high 5,032 new cases yesterday, making a record daily increase for the fourth consecutive day.

The DoH reported 3,954 new cases on Thursday, 4,063 on Friday and 4,963 on Saturday, and the number of recoveries further rose to 65,557 after it reported 301 patients who have recovered from the disease.

The death toll also increased to 2,059 after 20 more patients have succumbed to the viral disease, the DoH said.

Metro Manila topped the five regions or provinces with the highest number of daily confirmed coronavirus cases reported yesterday with 2,737 cases.

The Philippines is currently assessing its “overall game plan” in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic after the medical community sounded “a distressed signal” on Saturday, saying the country needs a “time out” to “recalibrate the government’s COVID-19 strategies”.

A woman’s temperature is measured before a ride in a passenger jeepney as drivers at the Tandang Sora terminal were recently allowed back on the road after months of not being able to work in Quezon city. PHOTO: AP

“Our healthcare system is overwhelmed. The medical community appeals for return to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Mega Manila from August 1 to 15 to recalibrate strategies against COVID-19,” according to a joint letter read by Philippine Medical Association President Jose Santiago in a virtual press conference. Mega Manila comprises of Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon region.

Santiago read the letter addressed to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on behalf of the Philippine College of Physicians and more than 80 other medical groups. The groups urged Duterte to impose the strictest lockdown measures in these regions.

Duterte has put Metro Manila under general community quarantine until August 15, while other areas in the country are put under varying degrees of quarantine.

Santiago said the 15-day ECQ will serve as a “time out” to “recalibrate the government’s COVID-19 strategies”.

The groups also stressed in the letter that the country needs to “come up with a consolidated plan” because it is in a “losing battle against COVID-19”.

The groups said the ECQ is needed as healthcare frontliners “cannot hold the line for much longer”.

Duterte met key Cabinet officials yesterday to discuss the concerns raised by the medical community, his spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement yesterday.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque said in a statement posted on the DOH Facebook page yesterday that the government “will revisit and include the inputs we have gathered in our overall game plan,” referring to the issues raised by the medical workers.

“We support the call of our frontliners to ensure a science-based approach and stricter implementation of community quarantine measures,” Duque further said.

As of July 31, the DoH said at least 4,938 healthcare workers have tested positive for COVID-19. Of these, 38 have died and 4,544 have recovered.