The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday reported 45 new cases, bringing to 187 the total number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.
Actor Christopher de Leon and a DOH Director from the Central office tested positive for COVID-19.
As this developed, the DOH also reported the recovery of a 31-year-old male, one of the two repatriates from M/V Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yohoma, Japan.
The Filipino was confirmed with COVID-19 last March 9, but was tested negative twice for the new coronavirus, as confirmed by Jose Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital.
This brought to four the number of patients who recovered from COVID-19.
The DOH is yet to come out with the number of deaths which have remained at 12 for the past two days.
Earlier, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the high percentage in mortality rate was due to limitation in testing.
“But if we conduct many tests, maybe many could turn positive, the fatality rate would decrease,” he said.
Duque noted that the mortality rate is computed as the number of deaths over the number of infections. He admitted that it is likely they could be missing other positive cases.
As this developed, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the bed capacity of health care facilities in Metro Manila are being surpassed by the number of patients seeking medical attention amid the COVID-19 situation in the country
“We are admitting that our hospitals especially here in Metro Manila ay napupuno na po dahil sa dagsa ng tao,” she said.
“While we were not saying that there were many COVID-19 patients, many were showing signs and symptoms,” she said.
Duque noted the isolation beds in public hospitals numbering 935 will increase. He had given an order that 10 percent of beds to be given to private patients should instead be converted to isolation beds to increase capacity.
“I asked my Undersecretary for field implementation and coordination team, if for example we have 40,000 beds,10 percent should be turned into isolation so we have 4,000. We have additional 4,000 on top of 935 we have today, in public hospitals,” said Duque.
Vergeire reiterated the directive of health authorities to the public that those who have mild symptoms and not showing any symptoms at all should undergo home quarantine and avoid flocking to hospitals.
“The risk of transmission among the population would increase if mild and asymptomatic will also be waiting in hospitals where there are possible COVID-19 cases,” she added.
She also said the country’s testing capacity to determine whether a person is infected or not is still limited.
However, Vergeire guaranteed that more test kits are arriving from Japan and China on top of the batch that arrived from South Korea last Saturday./Stacy Ang