(July 03, 2020) – The Philippines on Friday reported a total of 1,531 cases of new coronavirus infections, the biggest single day increase for the country, pushing the tally to more than 40,000.
But the Philippine office of the World Health Organization (WHO) noted the country’s weak contact tracing, and the “worrying phenomenon” increases of cases outside the capital region.
The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday reported 688 fresh cases, with 255 coming from Metro Manila, 138 coming from Central Visayas, 271 from other areas, and 24 from repatriates.
A total of 843 cases were considered to be late cases.
The all-time high in single day increase comes a day after the DOH only reported 294 additional cases, as Region VII–an emerging hotspot for COVID-19–did not provide updates.
Not all laboratories were also able to send their reports.
The Department of Health also recorded 400 new recoveries on July 03, with the total at 11,073.
Six infected people have died this month, bringing the death toll to 1,280.
MORE TESTING, MORE CASES
The DOH report of breaching the 40,000 mark comes three days after the University of the Philippines (UP) projected for it to happen at the end of June.
Actual positive tests received on July 01 actually reached 50,077, but the DOH was only able to report around 38,000 at that time due to backlog in validation.
UP then projected that, barring further interventions, cases could reach 60 to 70,000 by the end of July.
But WHO Philippines director Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe said people should be careful in looking at the numbers.
“More testing means we will detect more cases. That should not frighten us,” Abeyasinghe said in a virtual briefing on Friday, “It is good that cases are being detected in large numbers because of the expansion in testing capacity.”
Abeyasinghe said lauded the government for using the lockdown to expand testing capacity and expand health care facilities.
He also noted that the aim was to maintain or lower the proportion of positive cases to individuals tested at around 7 percent.
The latest figure from DOH though, as of July 1, showed that the daily positivity rate of the Philippines went up to 8.5 percent.
WEAK CONTACT TRACING
While WHO Philippines lauded the government for expanded testing, it noted several weaknesses in the pandemic response, particularly in contact tracing and in implementation of quarantine rules.
“The expansion of testing capacity needs to be also accompanied by expansion of contact tracing, case investigation and isolation of cases. Otherwise we will not harvest the full benefit.” Abeyasinghe said, “Contact tracing and isolation capacity has not been keeping pace with the expansion of testing capacity.”
He said the public has not been completely compliant in following protocols, “People have not followed orders, people have been reluctant in isolating themselves. This has resulted in an increase of cases within their own community.”
Abeyasinghe said the spike of infections outside the capital region due to the return of stranded individuals and overseas workers was a “worrying phenomenon”.
He noted the particular increase in CALABARZON, Central Luzon, Eastern Visays, Northern Mindanao, and SOCCSKSARGEN.
“Infections in new regions are being influenced by people traveling from infected areas where there is active transmission,” Abeyasinghe warned.
“These people require quarantine and testing so that they do not introduce new infections in their own provinces.”
The WHO Philippines made the statement a day before the government is set to ferry some 4,000 stranded residents to their hometowns in Luzon and Mindanao.
But the government assured that the stranded individuals would carry a medical clearance certificate from rapid testing, before they could go back home. (Katrina Elaine Alba/MM)
Our Privacy Commitment
TV5 Network Inc. values and respects your right to privacy. We are committed to safeguarding your personal data in compliance with Republic Act No. 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations.
Why do we collect your personal information (as applicable)?
We collect and maintain basic information about you as users of TV5 sites for the following purposes:
Where do we get your personal information?
There are several ways we collect your personal information.
Information that you personally provided.
Most of the personal information we have are those that you have provided us when you:
Information we collect during your engagement with us
We also collect information as you use our products and services, like:
Information we collect from other sources
We also collect your personal information through other activities such as our market research initiatives, when you visit and use our websites and mobile apps, and from our subsidiaries, affiliates, and third-party business partners to whom you have given consent to share your information to us.
When do we disclose personal information?
There are circumstances when we are required to share some of the information you have provided us. In these cases, we ensure that your personal information will be disclosed on a confidential manner, through secure channels that is in compliance with the Data Privacy Act and other privacy laws.
In some instances, we may be required to disclose your personal information to our agents, subsidiaries, affiliates, business partners and other third-party agencies and service providers as part of our regular business operations and for the provision of our programs and services. This means we might share your information with:
How we protect your personal information
We also put in effect the following safeguards:
TV5 will not collect, use, or disclose your personal information for any purpose other than those identified in this Commitment, your Service Agreement or our Terms of Service, and any other purpose that you may have given your consent for.
For greater clarity, unless you provide specific consent, we shall not:
What are your choices?
You are given certain rights in relation to your personal data under the Data Privacy Act. We would like to ensure that we have your consent to continue to collect, use, and disclose your personal information for the purposes that we have identified. We want you to know that you do have choices and can object or withdraw your consent and/or edit your consent preferences at any time.
If you wish to have access to your personal information in our records; or you think that such personal information we have of you is incomplete, not up-to-date, or otherwise inaccurate, you may get in touch with our Data Privacy Officer through the contact details provided below. In some instances, we may request for supporting documents or proof before we effect any requested changes to your personal information.
Data Protection Officer
TV5 Network Inc.
Reliance corner Sheridan Streets
What happens when there are changes in our Policy?
You will always be provided notice if these changes are significant and, if we are required by law, we will ensure to obtain your updated consent.