Confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines continue to reach 150,000, a forecast estimated by the end of August, as 4,002 additional cases were reported by the Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday.
Some 74,713 were tagged as active cases or those still infected with COVID-19. So far, there are more active COVID-19 cases in the country, compared to the combined tally of recoveries and fatalities.
“As of 4PM today, August 13, 2020, the Department of Health reports the total number of COVID-19 cases at 147,526,” read the DOH COVID-19 Case Bulletin #152.
A total of 4,002 confirmed cases are reported based on the total tests done by 93 out of 100 current operational labs.
DOH likewise announced 1,403 recoveries. This brings the total number of recoveries to 70,387.
Of the 4,002 reported cases, 3.304 (83%) occurred within the recent 14 days (July 31-August 13, 2020). The top regions with cases in the recent two weeks were NCR (2,077 or 63%), Region (4A or 609 (18%) and Region 3 (115 or 3%).
The DOH also reported 23 new fatalities, bringing the death toll to 2,426. The new fatalities came mostly from the National Capital Region. Most of the cases happened in August.
Of the 23 deaths, 13 (57%) in August, 6 (26%) in July, 1 (4%) in June, 2 (9%) in April, and 1 (4%) in March. Deaths were from NCR (10 or 43%), Region 4A (5 or 22%), Region 7 (3 or 13%), CAR (3 or 13%), Region 9 (1 or 4%), and Region 10 (1 or 4%).
There were 225 duplicates that were removed from the total case count. Of these, 12 recovered cases and one death have been removed.
Moreover, one case that was previously reported to have recovered has been validated to have died and already included in the count of new deaths, the DOH said.
These numbers undergo constant cleaning and validation, they said.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said earlier in the day that the spike in cases is still driven by community transmission.
According to ABS-CBN Data Analytics Head Edson Guido, the number of confirmed cases for August is on pace to exceed the cumulative number of infections from January to July, which is 93,000.
The Philippines has been logging record-high numbers in terms of new COVID-19 cases since late July, following the easing of quarantine measures and the gradual opening up of the economy.
“We have observed that the cases right now or the infections are being identified in specific areas in the country in the communities. The number of clustering in the communities are increasing,” Vergeire said.
However, she also claimed that other factors such as returning overseas Filipinos, locally stranded individuals and expanded testing capacity are pushing the numbers up.
She assured the public that authorities are already doing “active case finding” in communities.
“That is why there are a lot of individuals being identified as positive right now,” she said.
On Wednesday, the DOH reported 69 additional COVID-19 areas of clustering, bringing the total to 1,107.
The newly identified areas of clustering include 17 in NCR, 17 in Region 4A, and 13 in Region 5. There are also 4 each in Regions 7, 9 and 2; 3 each in Regions 3 and 6; and 2 each in Region 10 and 8.
Researchers from the University of the Philippines and the University of Santo Tomas have estimated that the country’s COVID-19 cases may reach 150,000 by the end of August.
The forecast hasn’t been updated yet./Stacy Ang