The Department of Health (DOH) has revealed on Friday that the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) number of cases in the country continues to rise with a total of positive infections of 803.
The number of confirmed cases surged with 96 new cases recorded.
The number of deaths rose to 54 from 45 on Thursday.
Recoveries was recorded at 31 total cases.
A total of 791 tested negative, the DOH said.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, meanwhile, confirmed a senior health official has been infected by COVID-19.
The official, whom Duque did not identify, has been showing mild symptoms.
Duque earlier said a DOH director from its Central Office in Muntilupa City also tested positive for the virus.
Having been exposed to the said senior official, Duque went on a home quarantine and had himself tested for the virus.
The test results of Duque was negative.
On the other hand, Oriental Mindoro Governor Bonz Dolor said the country recorded the youngest victim of the virus, a 1-year-and-9-month-old baby.
The baby is the youngest positive and first COVID-19 patient in Calapan City.
He said the baby was in Metro Manila, the epicenter of the virus in the Philippines, on March 5 to 12, 2020.
The baby was brought by the grandparents, both tested negative, to Alabang City to be with the mother.
The result of the test on the mother is negative.
The governor also said contact tracing has already been done on persons who had contact with the baby, who was also suspected to be afflicted with dengue.
In a related development, Philippine Medical Association (PMA) President Dr. Jose Santiago Jr. said another doctor died from the virus, which brought to 10 the number of doctors who died from COVID-19.
He lamented many health care workers, including doctors and nurses, are yet to be subjected to COVID-19 testing.
“We are not yet certain if there are other healthcare workers or doctors who are positive, we do not know, we have not yet done testing,” he said.
Santiago said the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical personnel should be addressed.
The workforce of 84,200 doctors all over the country is adequate to respond to the COVID-19 situation.
Santiago said private hospitals in Laguna are ready to open their facilities, in case provincial and district hospitals could no longer accommodate persons under investigation or COVID-19 patients.
The PMA previously announced that at least nine doctors have died due to COVID-19.
The ninth fatality was Dr. Sally Gatchalian, president of the Philippine Pediatric Society, the doctor’s sister, actress Ruby Rodriguez, had confirmed./Stacy Ang