“The 2019 Plague” Day 156:
MANILA, Philippines — The total number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the country reached 8,488 on Thursday, with recoveries from the respiratory disease now over a thousand.
The Department of Health (DOH) reported 276 new cases of COVID-19, while 20 more people recovered from the disease, bringing the total number of recoveries to 1,043.
Meanwhile, 10 more patients died of the disease. The nationwide death toll is now at 568.
The daily DOH figures are not real-time data as the Health Department earlier said new COVID-19 cases have to be validated before reporting.
To date, the Philippines has 19 laboratories nationwide capable of conducting COVID-19 testing.
On Tuesday, the health department said that the Philippines had increased its daily testing capacity to 6,320 tests. However, it admitted that it will miss its 8,000 daily test target by the end of April.
President Rodrigo Duterte recently extended the enhanced community quarantine in some areas in Luzon, including Metro Manila, until May 15. These areas are deemed to have a high risk of COVID-19 infection.
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by SARS CoV-2 or severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, the outbreak of which started in Hubei, China late last year.
The virus causes mild symptoms such as fever and cough for most people but health experts have warned that older adults with preexisting health conditions were more vulnerable to the coronavirus, particularly those aged over 60-years-old.