Philippines calls for greater efforts as COVID-19 cases near 400,000

MANILA (XINHUA) – The Philippines’ Department of Health (DoH) yesterday reported 2,058 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the the country’s total tally to 398,449.

The DoH said 182 more patients recovered, raising the total number of recoveries to 361,784. The death toll rose to 7,647 including 108 new deaths from the coronavirus epidemic.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque strongly urged people to be more vigilant in wearing face masks, keeping social distance, and avoiding crowds to maintain the downtrend in daily caseload in the country.

“We saw the continued decline of the daily number of cases in the past weeks, and we attribute to this to our continuing efforts and localised responses at the village or community level,” Duque told an online news briefing.

He added that the public’s “disciplined compliance” with health guidelines helped hold the daily cases in check. “This downward trend is certainly a welcome development, and hopefully this trend will continue,” Duque said.

A woman buys vegetable at a market in Manila, the Philippines. PHOTO: XINHUA

Duque said the Philippines now has 159 COVID-19 testing laboratories across the country. He said the Philippines currently has 11,225 quarantine facilities and 16 mega quarantine facilities nationwide with 168,440 total bed capacity.

“These facilities allowed us to decongest our hospitals and provide care for patients who are unable to isolate in their homes,” he said.

“It means that we have enough capacity to address and care about the active cases,” he added.

“Let us not waste the gains. Let us not be complacent. Let us not allow our guards down. Let us not be stubborn,” he said while repeating his appeal for public efforts to keep the number of daily cases and deaths at low.