The country now has over 187,000 COVID cases after 4,933 new infections were confirmed Saturday.
The Department of Health (DoH) said the country’s caseload now stands at 187,249, of which 69,362 are active cases, or those who are currently ill.
The death toll rose to 2,966 after 26 more patients succumbed to the respiratory disease. The DoH said that of the new deaths, 13 passed away this month, 10 in July, and one death each during the months of June, May, and April.
The number of recoveries jumped to 114,921 as 436 more patients survived the dreaded illness.
In an online forum Friday, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III reminded the public not to be complacent during this time of pandemic.
“We cannot afford to let our guard down. We have to treat this as a very serious threat to us,” said Duque as he reiterated the importance of minimum health standards such as wearing masks and face shields, physical distancing, and washing of the hands.
“I think all of you are already tired of listening to these reminders but sometimes reminders have to be repeated to be able to achieve change behavior,” he said.
Duque also noted that the COVID-19 pandemic can be considered as a “blessing in disguise” as it highlighted the needed reforms in the health sector.
“This can also be some kind of blessing in disguise, serendipitous. Kasi parang na-accelerate iyong universal healthcare (UHC) because of COVID-19. It is a catalyst,” he said.
“Although COVID-19 has exposed the fissures or the cracks, weakness of our health system, it has brought to fore the areas, provisions of UHC that need to be accelerated in terms of its implementation,” he added.
Duque also noted that the government’s health response is not only focused on COVID-19 alone.
“We have a lot to do and in so far as the hospital operations are concerned, it is not just about COVID – I want to underscore that this is not just about COVID but also the non-COVID patients,” he said.
The Health chief said that the fight against COVID-19 “is a serious one.”
“Ang karanasan sa COVID-19 talagang matindi. Hindi mo masukat. Sa ngayon, it’s a novel virus (The COVID-19 experience is really intense and you cannot measure it. Currently, it’s a novel virus). It keeps evolving, you don’t know which corner is gonna turn. It has really brought the whole world to its knees and we’re not spared,” he said.