Philippines COVID-19 cases soar past 150,000

MANILA (Xinhua) – The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines surged to 153,660 after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 6,216 new daily cases yesterday.

The DOH said the number of recoveries further rose to 71,405 after 1,038 more patients recovered.

The death toll also increased to 2,442 after 16 more patients died.

The country’s capital Metro Manila topped the regions in the Philippines with the highest number of new cases reported yesterday with 3,848.

The Philippine Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a virtual media briefing that nearly 114,000 Filipinos of working age contracted the COVID-19.

“If you look at the number of people diagnosed with COVID-19, the bulk of the cases is within the productive age group, ages 20 until about 59 years old. These are the people who go out to work and return to the families after work,” she said.

People wearing face masks in Manila, the Philippines. PHOTO: XINHUA

Vergeire said these working people can be considered the drivers of infections in the country.

Other drivers of infections in the Philippines include the returning overseas Filipinos and the locally stranded individuals (LSIs) or the Filipinos from the provinces that got stuck in Metro Manila when the coronavirus lockdown was imposed in mid-March.

“We have imported cases, the returning overseas Filipinos and the LSIs, and we also have the community transmission.

“So the drivers of the infections are those that go out of their houses and when they return to their houses they infect the other members of the households,” she added.

DOH data showed 240,019 overseas Filipinos returned to the country since the outbreak of the pandemic. Among the returning overseas Filipinos, DOH said 5,041 contracted the disease and five have died.

“We have the clustering of cases in the level of communities or villages, the towns, the cities and the provinces,” Vergeire said.

The DOH earlier said it monitored 1,107 clusters of coronavirus infections across the country. In Metro Manila alone, it said it monitored 17 clusters in the community, workplaces and health facilities.

“That is why we should be vigilant. People should do their part in preventing more infections because we are seeing an increasing community transmission and clustering of cases,” Vergeire added.