By Analou De Vera
The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Philippines has exceeded 500, the Department of Health (DOH) reported.
In a press briefing on Tuesday afternoon, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said they recorded 90 new cases–the highest increase in a single day yet– bringing the total number of individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 to 552.
Meanwhile, the death toll also jumped to 35 after two more patients died.
The two deceased patients were both elderly and had pre-existing conditions such as hypertension and diabetes. They were Patient 215, who is a 71-year-old Filipino from Quezon City; and Patient 239, a 76-year-old Filipino from Cavite.
The number of patients who have recovered now stands at 20, Vergeire added.
Among those who recovered is Patient 87, a 76-year-old Filipina from Quezon City. The DOH said she has hypertension and diabetes. She was discharged from the hospital last Sunday (March 22).
The second to recover was a 21-year-old Filipina from Davao de Oro who has bronchial asthma. She had a history of travel to the United Kingdom and Qatar. She was discharged from the hospital on Monday (March 23).
In a press briefing last Sunday, Vergeire said the public should expect the number of confirmed cases to rise in the coming days due to the increased testing capacity.
The Health official said the DOH is currently detecting more cases because of the availability of more testing kits, and because the other subnational laboratories have begun testing samples, aside from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.