DOH cites gradual increase in COVID-19 cases

Published June 24, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Betheena Unite

The Department of Health (DOH) on June 24 reported 470 new cases, with the total number of cases nationwide at 32,295, noting that the increase is gradual and “our healthcare system can handle the current trend.”

Health Assistant Secretary Maria Vergeire (Facebook)
Health Assistant Secretary Maria Vergeire (Facebook)

Of the total number of new cases, 357 are fresh, while 113 are late cases.

The health department also reported that 214 patients recovered, with the country’s total number of recoveries at 8,656. Eighteen more patients, however, succumbed to the illness, bringing the nationwide death toll to 1,204.

The Philippines recorded its highest single-day number of new cases on June 23, with 1,150.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, in a virtual press briefing, said: “Bagamat tumataas ang kaso sa ating bansa, ang pagtaas naman nito ay gradual at hindi biglaan, ang ibig sabihn nito ay nahakakayanan natin ang ating current healthcare system ang pagtaas ng mga kasong ito (While cases in the country rise, the increase is gradual, this means that our healthcare system can handle the current trend of cases),” Vergeire said.

“Ang national daily number of cases ay nag-stabilize na rin. Atin pong ine-expect na tataas pa rin ang kaso habang unti-unting binubuksan ang ating ekonomiya ngunit ang pagtaaas ay hindi umaabot sa punto kung saan mao-overwhelm ang health system (The national daily number of cases has also stabilized but we are expecting that cases will increase as we open our economy but it won’t overwhelm the health system),” the health official added.

Based on the latest data from the department, 96.2 percent of the total confirmed cases are mild cases while severe cases are only at .5 percent and critical cases are .1 percent.

“Ibig sabihin mataas ang prosyento na makaka-recover tayo sa sakit na ito (This shows that we have a high percentage of recovery). Mild cases may be high but let me remind everyone that we can’t be complacent here,” Vergeire noted.

Emerging hotspots

The department also disclosed that based on the current trend, places outside the National Capital Region can be declared as emerging hotspots of the disease.

An increase of cases in the Visayas has been noted, prompting the government to shift its attention to those places to avoid overwhelming the country’s health system.

“Ang mga lugar kung saan nakakita ng emerging hostspots o lugar kung saan dumadami ang kaso ay ang Cebu City, Cebu Province, Ormoc, Southern Leyte, Leyte at Samar (We are looking at Cebu City, Cebu Province, Ormoc, Southern Leyte, Leyte at Samar as emerging hotspots or places where cases continue to surge),” Vergeire said.

“Hindi pa ganoon karami ang kaso sa mga nasabing lugar ngunit nakikita na natin ang na mas mabilis na tumataas kumpra sa ibang mga lugar (Cases in those places are not that high but we are noticing an increasing trend),” the undersecretary added.

Reproduction rate

The health official also underscored that the disease’s reproduction rate in the country is nearing one. When the reproduction number reaches to less than one, it would indicate that transmission of the disease in the country is eliminated.

“Sa kasalulyan ang reproduction number para sa buong bansa ay malapit na sa one, magandang balita ito sapagkat ibig sabihin mas kaunti na ang nahahawa sa isang kaso (At present, the nationwide reproduction number is nearing one, this is a good news because it means fewer people are getting infected from a confirmed case),” Vergeire said.

594,499 tests

It was also reported that as of June 23, the country has already conducted 594,499 COVID-19 tests, where only 6.9 percent turned out positive.

The case fatality rate nationwide is currently at 3.73 percent, higher than the ASEAN fatality rate of 2.94 and lower than the global average of 5.22 percent.

“This is an encouraging sign because while cases go up, our health system is catching up and fewer patients are succumbing to COVID-19,” Vergeire noted.