Philippines’ COVID-19 cases surge to 20,626, deaths near 1,000-mark
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines’ confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases surged to 20,626 as the Department of Health (DOH) reported Friday an additional 244 cases.
Of the newly logged cases, 168 have been classified as “fresh cases,” or those validated within the past three days. The other 76 are “late cases,” or those detected at least four days ago, but were only validated by the DOH’s Epidemiology Bureau recently.
The DOH also reported 3 new fatalities, bringing the nationwide death toll to 987.
Meanwhile, 82 more patients have recovered from the respiratory disease, bringing the total recoveries to 4,330.
The new reporting system has resulted in a massive surge in new COVID-19 cases in recent days. But the DOH said the spike in cases does not mean that the outbreak is getting worse as it attributed the increase to the government’s increased testing capacity and “aggressive efforts” to catch up on the validation backlogs.
Earlier, COVID-19 Response Deputy Chief Implementer Vince Dizon said the government is now eyeing to include asymptomatic patients in its “expanded targeted testing” program.
This came as he reported that the country’s rated testing capacity increased to nearly 42,000 a day.
However, the DOH earlier said that daily actual tests done by all the accredited laboratories is only around 8,000 to 9,000 as some testing centers face operational issues.
There are currently 52 accredited laboratories nationwide, of which,
40 can use RT-PCR tests while the other 12 are testing centers licensed to use GeneXpert rapid tests.