(March 29, 2020)– The health department has recorded its biggest daily increase in COVID-19 cases with 343 new infections reported over the past 24 hours, bringing to 1,418 the total number of coronavirus cases in the country.
In a virtual press briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the recent spike in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases is an indication of the country’s improved capacity to detect COVID-19.
“Ang pagtaas ng kaso ng COVID-19 ay gawa ng dagdag ng sub-national laboratories na nagsimula na ring mag-test. Mas marami nang naproproseso sa ngayon kaya nakakahabol na po tayo sa backlog noong mga nakaraang linggo,” she said.
Still, Vergeire reminded the public to self-isolate and frequently wash their hands lest they become part of the statistics.
Meanwhile, the death toll due to the coronavirus has increased to 71, after three more patients succumbed to the disease. The fatalities, who had no travel history, were from ages 70 to 78.
A total of 42 patients however have recovered from the disease, as seven more people were recently declared clear of COVID-19.
DEFECTIVE KITS NOT FROM CHINA
Vergeire apologized again for her claims on Saturday that some test kits donated by the Chinese government were only “40 percent accurate”.
She clarified that the kits she was referring to were a different brand of testing tools proposed for donation by a private foundation.
The Chinese Embassy in Manila on Sunday morning called out local health officials for their remarks and insisted that the kits they donated were of high quality and accuracy.
Vergeire said the agency had already coordinated with the Chinese Embassy to clarify the matter.
335 FILIPINOS ABROAD INFECTED WITH COVID-19
Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs has reported that 335 Filipinos abroad have tested positive for the coronavirus.
It said most of the infected are located in the Asia Pacific region with 173 cases, with other cases recorded in Europe (86), the Middle East and Africa (47) and the Americas (29).
Out of the 335 patients positive of COVID-19, 220 are currently receiving medical treatment while 111 have already recovered and discharged from hospitals.
Four Filipinos abroad have died from the disease.
As of March 29, some 670,000 coronavirus cases worldwide have been recorded, with almost 31,000 deaths.
The United States is currently considered a pandemic hotspot after tallying some 125,000 infected patients. Italy has the highest COVID-19 death toll at more than 10,000. (Roy Narra/JMF)
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