By Analou De Vera
The Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday confirmed three more deaths of individuals afflicted with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the country.
One of the newly deceased patients was a 54-year-old Filipino from Lanao del Sur confined at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center. He was referred to as the country’s 40th confirmed case. The DOH confirmed his death on Saturday morning.
The patient showed symptoms of respiratory illness on Feb. 24 and tested positive for COVID-19 on March 11.
The Health department said that the patient died last Friday night from “acute respiratory distress syndrome due to severe pneumonia with concomitant acute kidney injury.”
Meanwhile, the DOH confirmed “two additional COVID-19 deaths” on Saturday afternoon. The DOH has yet to provide specific information on these.
“[The] DOH is currently gathering further details on the recent deaths and will provide information as soon as it is available,” it said.
With these developments, a total of eight individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 have died in the Philippines.
The country recorded its first coronavirus-related death last Feb. 1 in the person of a 44-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan, China.
The DOH urged elderly people and those with underlying medical conditions to be extra cautious.
“We further urge those who are immunocompromised and are with existing health conditions to be more vigilant and avoid crowded areas and mass gatherings,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said recently.
“We reiterate that the best way to protect yourself from the disease is to keep yourself healthy and practice general preventive measures–proper handwashing, cough etiquette, and social distancing,” he added.
World Health Organization Country Representative to the Philippines Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe previously said that the “disease so far indicates that largely it’s a mild disease—- about 81 percent will have mild disease—-many of them could be managed as outpatients. But, 14 percent will develop severe disease and five percent will progress to critical, meaning they will need intensive care facilities.”