Philippines logs 1,470 new COVID-19 cases

MANILA (XINHUA) – The Department of Health (DOH) of the Philippines yesterday reported 1,470 new confirmed cases COVID-19 infection, bringing the total number in the country to 454,447.

The DOH said 633 more patients recovered, raising the total number of recoveries to 419,902. The death toll climbed to 8,850 after 17 more patients died from the viral disease, the DOH added.

“There has been a continuous growth of cases in Metro Manila, signalling the start of a surge,” the DOH said in a statement, warning of a “sharp spike” in COVID-19 transmission if the trend continues.

The DOH said it has also observed an increase in the number of cases in some provinces in the northern Philippines.

“If this trend continues and not mitigated, it will lead to a sharp spike of cases that might overwhelm our health system capacity, similar to the peak we experienced in August in Metro Manila,” the DOH warned.

The DOH said “the occurrence of another surge will no longer be a matter of ‘if’, but of ‘when and by how much’.”

“We have witnessed what a spike in cases might mean to us – the extensive lockdowns and how it has affected our families, the healthcare workers, the small businesses and large enterprises alike, and how it almost, if not completely, paralysed our economy. We do not want that to happen again,” the DOH said.

President Rodrigo Duterte has reiterated his appeal to the public to obey health standards during holiday celebrations to contain the spread of coronavirus as the government strengthens the healthcare system for the possible uptick in the number of infections.

A policeman stands guard as people queue up to attend events signalling the official start of the festive season. PHOTO: AFP