The number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines continued to rise on Wednesday after the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed 84 new infections, bringing the total to 636.
The COVID-19 death toll also climbed to 38 after the DOH reported three new fatalities.
President Rodrigo Duterte announced on Tuesday night the implementation of a national action plan to reinforce efforts of the DOH to combat COVID-19.
Earlier on Wednesday, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire explained that the country’s increased testing capacity is behind the surge of cases this month.
"In these coming days, kapag natanggal na po natin lahat ng backlogs makikita na po natin ang totoong mga numero sa pagtaas o di kaya pagbaba dito sa ating bansa," she explained.
Three new deaths
The three latest fatalities, all Filipinos, were identified as Patients 319, 326, and 29.
Patient 319 is a hypertensive and diabetic 56-year-old male Quezon City resident with no history of travel or exposure to known cases. He died on March 21 due to community-acquired pneumonia secondary to COVID-19.
Patient 326 is a hypertensive and diabetic 57-year-old male from Caloocan with dyslipidemia but no travel or exposure history. He died on March 16 of acute respiratory distress syndrome secondary to community-acquired high-risk pneumonia and COVID-19. His test results only came back positive on March 21.
Patient 29 is an 82-year-old female from Marikina City with a history of travel to the United States. She was the wife of Patient 9, an 86-year-old American male who earlier succumbed to the disease. She died of COVID-19 on March 23 and also had other comorbidities.
The online COVID-19 tracker of the DOH shows that there are currently 615 persons under investigation nationwide, while 6,321 others are under monitoring.
The department has so far conducted 1,793 COVID-19 tests.
On Tuesday afternoon, Vergeire said that 704 had tested negative for the disease.—LDF, GMA News