By Analou De Vera
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the Philippines surpassed 35,000 on Sunday, June 28.
The Department of Health (DOH) reported 653 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, raising the country’s total to 35,455.
Out of the new confirmed cases, 485 were “fresh” cases or test results released to patients within the last three days; while 168 were “late” cases or test results released four or more days ago.
The DOH also said that there were 258 new recoveries, bringing the total of those who recovered from the dreaded illness to 9,686.
However, eight more deaths were reported. The country’s total death toll is now at 1,244.
Based on the recent COVID-19 situationer, there are 23,667 active cases as of June 26. The DOH said that 95.7 percent are mild cases (22,649).
“As of June 26, there are 3,346 healthcare workers who have been infected by COVID-19, of which 2,483 (74 percent) have recovered and 33 have died,” it said. #
PH cases vs. other countries
In a related development, the Health department said that there are a lot of factors to be considered when interpreting data related to the COVID-19.
The DOH made the statement after reports came out that the Philippines has the “fastest rise” in COVID-19 cases in the Western Pacific Region in two weeks. It was reported that Singapore came in second.
The agency said that when comparing data from other countries, it “requires a deeper understanding of population ratio versus number of cases.”
“Our socioeconomic context, particularly living conditions, as well as health system capacity, even prior to COVID, is different from Singapore,” the DOH said.
The said factors should be “taken into account” when analyzing data, it said.
“Let us not cherry pick the countries we want to compare ourselves to,” the DOH said.
The DOH cited Singapore as an example wherein it has a population of 5.9 million with 43,246 COVID-19 cases. Meanwhile, the Philippines has a 109 million population with 34,803 cases (the cases cited were as of June 27).
“Per one million people, Singapore has a higher case at 7,393 cases compared with the Philippines at 318 cases,” the DOH said.
The DOH said that the “national government strives to manage COVID-19 in the absence of a cure or vaccine.”
“All agencies are tasked to closely monitor the rise in cases and strengthen our response through localized actions, especially in emerging hotspots,” it said.