FOR the second straight day, the Philippines recorded over 2,000 Covid -19 cases in a single day, bringing the total number of infections to 46, 333 on Monday.
The Philippines now has the second highest number of Covid cases in Southeast Asia.
During the DOH Beat Covid-19 televised press conference, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergerie said that as of 4 p.m. of July 06, the Department of Health (DOH) recorded a total of 2,099 Covid -19 cases.
Of the additional number of cases, 1,258 fresh cases detected and 841 late cases that were logged.
Monday’s fresh cases are based on the daily accomplishment reports submitted by only 56 out of 73 current operational labs.
Vergerie said that there were 243 recoveries and six deaths reported.
This brings the total number of recoveries to 12,185 and the deaths, to 1,303.
Of the six new reported deaths, five (83 percent) occurred in June.
Ten duplicates were removed from the total case count. Twenty duplicates were removed from total case count.
The total cases reported may be subject to change as these numbers undergo constant cleaning and validation.
On July 5, the total number of additional cases were recorded at 2, 434.
Six areas monitored
At least six areas are now being closely monitored by the Department of Health due to the quick rise of Covid-19 cases.
These are Cebu City, the whole of Cebu province, cities of Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu, Manila and Quezon City.
Vergeire noted that cases in these areas were observed to increase in the past week.
She added that they are also noticing areas that used to have zero Covid cases but have started to record infections.
In a media forum hosted by the DOH, Vergerie said that clustering was reported in 314 barangays in the National Capital Region.
Clustering — an occurrence of the disease in the same area at the same time — was also reported in the Metro Rail Transit-3 and a private company.
A total of 186 train personnel have contracted the disease and 39 cases were reported in the past two weeks in a company.
In Cebu City, 64 barangays were reported to have Covid-19 clusters.
Revert to ECQ
As cases rose, Vergeire said that declaring the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), general community quarantine (GCQ) or modified GCQ will be up to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) based on the “indicators” or “current cases”.
She, however said, that local government units (LGUs) were given authority to declare their selective lockdowns.
Despite the increase in the cases reported, Vergeire said that the case doubling time in the country slowed to 7. 95 days.
As the country enters the “new normal”, the DOH reminded the public to observe minimum health standards to keep everyone safe.
These precautions include proper coughing manners and refraining from touching one’s eyes, nose, and mouth.
While quarantine measures have eased in some areas, going outside for non-essential reasons is still discouraged. If truly needed, such as running errands or reporting to work, one should do frequent handwashing, observe physical distancing, use face masks, in addition to precautions mentioned above.
Activities should be planned and finished in one day to avoid repeated exposure outside.
Mass gatherings are also still discouraged. If possible, virtual/online gatherings should be done for events such as birthdays, masses, and meetings.
Few critical cases
Even if the number of infections in the country is overwhelming, Vergeire noted that less than one percent of Covid – 19 patients are severe or critical and that the deaths are still down.
“Yes, our numbers are rising. But look at the proportion of those positive cases, we have about 94 percent of them as mild , about 5 percent of them are asymptomatic. We are looking at less than one percent who are severe and critical as classified based on their symptoms,” Vergeire said in a media forum with health reporters.
Vergeire was citing the 41,830 cases recorded on July 4 from the DOH Beat Covid -19 Situation Report. On July 5, the cases rose to 44, 254.
Based on the report as of July 4, there were 1,486 or 5.1 percent asymptomatic, 27,429 (94.3 percent) mild, 144 (0.5 percent) are severe, and 28 (0.1 percent) are critical.
Vergeire noted that these numbers would explain why the country has a low death rate at 3.08 percent, which is below the global case fatality rate of over 5.
She added that the medical professionals can now better handle infected patients unlike in the early months when the virus hit the country.
“Before, many succumbed to the disease because we still didn’t know how to treat them. But now we already know the appropriate care or treatment for the patients,”Vergeire said in a mix of Filipino and English stressing that there is a “better management now”.
The DOH said that asymptomatic patients are those with an RT-PCR confirmed case of Covid-19 but without symptoms.
Mild patients are experiencing mild symptoms but vital signs are stable. Unless mild patients belong to high-risk subgroups or have comorbidities, they are often not admitted to a treatment facility.
Severe patients are those with difficulty breathing, altered mental status, are considered high-risk or in need of hospital care.