The number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the Philippines continues to surge after the Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday confirmed 84 new infections, bringing the total to 636.
The COVID-19 death toll also climbed to 38 after the health department reported three new fatalities.
The DOH also announced on Wednesday the recovery of six more patients from COVID-19, including two senior citizens.
This brings the total number of recoveries in the country to 26.
Tuesday afternoon, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that 704 had tested negative for the disease.
President Rodrigo Duterte announced on Tuesday night the implementation of a National Action Plan (NAC) to reinforce efforts of the DOH to combat COVID-19.
Earlier on Wednesday, Vergeire explained that the country’s increased testing capacity is behind the surge of cases this month.
“In these coming days, kapag natanggal na po natin lahat ng backlogs makikita na po natin ang totoong mga numero sa pagtaas o di kaya pagbaba dito sa ating bansa,” she said.
Meanwhile, the three latest fatalities, all Filipinos, were identified as Patients 319, 326, and 29.
Patient 319 is a hypertensive and diabetic 56-year-old male Quezon City resident with no history of travel or exposure to known cases. He died on March 21 due to community-acquired pneumonia secondary to COVID-19.
Patient 326 is a hypertensive and diabetic 57-year-old male from Caloocan with dyslipidemia but no travel or exposure history. He died on March 16 of acute respiratory distress syndrome secondary to community-acquired high-risk pneumonia and COVID-19. His test results only came back positive on March 21.
Patient 29 is an 82-year-old female from Marikina City with a history of travel to the United States. She was the wife of Patient 9, an 86-year-old American male who earlier succumbed to the disease. She died of COVID-19 on March 23 and also had other co-morbidities.
On the other hand, the latest cases to recover from the disease, all Filipinos, were Patients 95, 10, 18, 82, 31, and 23.
All patients were asymptomatic when they were discharged from the hospital.
Patient 95 is a hypertensive 64-year-old female from Batangas with a history of travel to Italy. She was discharged on Tuesday after testing negative for COVID-19 twice.
Patient 10 is a diabetic and asthmatic 57-year-old male Quezon City resident with a history of travel to Taiwan. He was discharged on Monday after testing negative for COVID-19 twice.
Patient 18 is a 41-year-old male from Pasig City with a travel history to Taiwan. He was discharged on Tuesday after two negative COVID-19 test results. He is the husband of Patient 19, a 46-year-old Filipina.
Patient 82 is a 66-year-old male Quezon City resident with no history of travel or exposure to known cases. He was discharged on Tuesday after testing negative for COVID-19 once.
Patient 31 is a 28-year-old woman from San Juan who was exposed to Patient 9, an 86-year-old American male who earlier succumbed to COVID-19 followed by his wife, Patient 29, who died on Monday.
Patient 31 was discharged on Sunday after one negative test result.
Patient 23 is a 30-year-old female San Juan resident with no travel or exposure history. She was discharged on Tuesday after testing negative for COVID-19 twice.
The online COVID-19 tracker of the DOH shows that there are currently 615 persons under investigation (PUIs) nationwide, while 6,321 others are persons under monitoring (PUMs).
The department has so far conducted 1,793 COVID-19 tests./Stacy Ang