PHL records highest single-day increase of 1,150 new Covid cases

In file photo: Health workers take a break at a Covid-19 swabbing facility in San Juan City. (Photo by Nonoy Lacza/BusinessMirror)

Covid-19 infections hit a new high since the pandemic broke out in the country with 1,150 cases recorded on Tuesday bringing the total number of people contracted the virus to 31,825.

This, as 100 days have passed since enhanced community quarantine was declared in Luzon. Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire stressed the need to improve the information system, healthcare facilities and health human resources as a response to this unprecedented health crisis.

Vergeire said that as of 4 p.m. of June 23, the Department of Health (DOH) reported a total of 31,825 Covid-19 cases.

Of the additional cases recorded on Tuesday, 789 were logged as fresh cases and 361 were detected as late cases . Tuesday’s fresh cases are based on the daily accomplishment reports submitted by only 43 out of 59 current operational labs.

DOH also announced 299 recoveries. This brings the total number of recoveries to 8,442

Nine deaths were recorded. The death toll stood at 1,186.

Of the 9 reported deaths, 7 (78 percent) occurred in June (June 01-17, 2020).

Likewise, five duplicates and two negatives were also removed from total case count.

The total cases reported may be subject to change as these numbers undergo constant cleaning and validation.

Flattening the curve

In a virtual media forum with health reporters, Vergeire also noted various “good indicators” like the case doubling time and the critical care utilization rates but refused to confirm if the curve is flattening.

“When we say we are flattening the curve, we have to be very clear on this. The very reason, why flattening of the curve was given as a concept because the objective was, if we flatten the curve, we are spreading the cases across time. Di siya basta nagyayari isang peak na mataas tapos it goes down. Gusto natin nai-spread natin overtime so that we can give our health system enough time to prepare if and when cases would rise,” Vergeire explained.

Currently, she said that case doubling time is 7.26 days compared to “when we started off our case doubling time is two to three days.”

The critical utilization rate is at 35 percent, she said.

The same with the laboratories , she added, where from one, there are now 63 licensed laboratories across the country.

“We are already in that indication that maybe the curve is flattening but we would like to be cautious in saying that because we are seeing spikes of cases in some of the areas in the country,” Vergeire said adding that the DOH is keeping an eye in some hot spots in other areas of the country.

She reiterated that there are still a lot of things that needs to be done in their Covid response.

“We have to remember that this virus is evolving everyday. We also saw some weaknesses in our system that we want to improve so that we can have appropriate response,” she said adding, “Hopefully in the coming weeks, months we can improve our response.”

Testing capacity

Vergeire also reported that on June 17, the DOH was able to record the highest testing output which is 16,000 in a day.

On June 21, a total of 10, 967 samples were tested.

“We were able to test 10,967 samples, this is slightly below the 12,400 per week. So we average 12, 000 to 13,000 actual test per day,” she said.

Vergeire said that the current rated capacity is 50,000 based in the number of laboratories at the moment.

Image credits: Nonoy Lacza


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