Duque: COVID-19 cases expected to increase due to availability of more test kits

Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said that they expect a rise in the number of positive cases of corona disease (COVID-19) with the availability of more test kits already.

“I am confident that with many testing kits arriving and many have already, in fact,  arrived, we would be able to have more positive but mild cases so that the number of deaths would be dilluted by the number of positive cases,” Duque said.

He explained that due to limited testing capacity there is a high mortality rate of about 8 percent in the total of 142 positive cases as of  Monday. 

As of 12 noon on Tuesday (March 17), the Department of Health (DOH) reported 45 (143 to PH187) COVID -19 cases, bringing the number of infected persons to 187. 

The DOH also reported that one patient (PH25) was discharged after he tested negative already. There are a total of four persons who have recovered from the disease.

PH25 is a 31-year old male fron Negros Oriental. He  was one of the repatriates from the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship.

He was found positive of COVID -19 on March 9 but eventulally tested negative twice.  He was discharged on Tuesday (March 17).

Meanwhile, Duque,  in a media briefing in Malacanang stressed the need of mass testing to determine the real number positive cases noting the case of Sen. Miguel Zubiri who turned out infected but asymptomatic. 

He, however, reiterated that the country is learning from the best practices of other countries to bring the cases down and contain the virus.

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