The Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed 90 new cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on Tuesday afternoon, as the total number of infections in the Philippines surge to 552.
During a virtual press briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the number of fatalities also rose to 35.
The total number of recoveries went up to 20.
Meanwhile, 704 people have tested negative for the disease.
The two new patients who have recovered were identified as PH130 and PH87, the DOH said in its bulletin.
PH 130, a 21-year-old Filipino female from Davao de Oro who recently traveled to the United Kingdom and Qatar, was confined at the Davao Regional Medical Center, experienced symptoms on March 3 and was confirmed positive for COVID-19 on March 15. The patient, who has bronchial asthma, was discharged from the hospital on March 23 after testing negative of COVID-19.
The other recovery is PH87, a 76-year-old Filipino female from Quezon City who was exposed to a relative who contracted COVID-19 after visiting the United States. She was confined at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City, first experienced symptoms on February 25. She was confirmed positive for COVID-19 on March 14 and was discharged from the hospital on March 22. She is both hypertensive and diabetic.
Two more deaths were, however, reported, bringing the total number of fatalities to 35.
The first fatality is PH215, a 71-year-old Filipino male from Quezon City who did not recently travel abroad or had exposure to a COVID-19 patient. The patient, who had hypertension and diabetes, tested positive for COVID-19 on March 18 and died on March 24 due to sever pneumonia, hypertensive cardiovascular disease and cardiac dysrhythmia.
The other fatality is PH239, a 76-year-old Filipino male from Cavite who also does not have known exposure to a COVID-19 patient. The patient, who did not also travel abroad recently, was diabetic. He died on March 14 but only tested positive for COVID-19 on March 20. His cause of death was recorded as heart failure, community-acquired pneumonia, myocardial infarction or heart attack, acute respiratory failure and COVID-19.
According to the Johns Hopkins University, there are now 381,000 COVID-19 cases worldwide. Of that number, 101,000 have recovered and 16,000 have died.
Health authorities are now ramping up testing nationwide.
The online COVID-19 tracker of the DOH showed that they have so far conducted 1,622 tests, with 606 persons under investigation and 6,321 under monitoring.
The DOH earlier attributed the surge of cases to the increased testing capacity of Philippine laboratories, after several sub-national laboratories became operational last week./Stacy Ang