The number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines climbed to 707 on Thursday after the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed new cases with seven more deaths and two new recoveries.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III announced at an online press briefing that the country’s COVID-19 death toll has risen to 45 while a total of 28 patients have already recovered from the disease.
The DOH earlier explained that the country’s increased testing capacity for COVID-19 is behind the sudden surge of cases this month after several sub-national laboratories became operational.
“Binibilisan din po natin ang expansion ng ating testing centers upang matugunan ang backlog,” Duque said.
Seven new deaths
The latest fatalities, all Filipinos, were Patients 321, 278, 540, 636, 600, 354, and 327.
Patient 321 was a hypertensive 46-year-old male from Rizal with no travel or exposure history. He died on March 21 of acute respiratory disease secondary to community-acquired pneumonia and COVID-19.
Patient 278 was a hypertensive 72-year-old female San Juan resident with no travel or exposure history who died of septic shock, severe pneumonia, and COVID-19 on Wednesday. She also had stage one colon cancer.
Patient 540 was a diabetic 50-year-old male from Pasig City with no history of travel or exposure to known cases. He died on March 20 but his results only came back positive on March 24. His causes of death were acute respiratory failure, community-acquired high-risk pneumonia, and COVID-19.
Patient 636 was a hypertensive 56-year-old male from Pampanga with no travel or exposure history. He died on March 24 and tested positive for COVID-19 the following day. He died of acute respiratory distress syndrome secondary to COVID-19, pneumonia, and acute respiratory failure.
Patient 600 was an 87-year-old male from Sultan Kudarat with no travel history. He died on March 14 but his COVID-19 test results only came back positive on March 24. He died of acute respiratory failure secondary to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, community-acquired pneumonia, and COVID-19.
Patient 354 was an 80-year-old female from Rizal whose travel and exposure history are still unknown. She died on March 13 but only tested positive for COVID-19 on March 20. She died due to acute coronary syndrome, congestive heart failure, and severe acute respiratory infection.
Patient 327 was a 46-year-old male from Laguna with no travel history. He died on March 15 but his COVID-19 results only came back positive on March 21. He died of acute myocardial infarction and coronary artery disease but also had hypertension and renal disease prior to contracting COVID-19.
Two new recoveries
Two more people have recovered from the disease.
Patient 112 is a 41-year-old Filipino male Makati City resident with a history of travel to Japan and exposure to his relatives Patients 41, 44, and 87.
He was discharged on March 21 after testing negative for the disease once.
Patient 28, husband of Patient 30, is a 69-year-old Filipino male from Marikina City who lives in the same household as Patient 9, an 86-year-old American male who earlier succumbed to the disease.
He was discharged on March 22 after one negative COVID-19 test result.
The online COVID-19 tracker of the DOH shows that there are currently 722 persons under investigation, while 6,321 others are under monitoring.
The DOH said on Tuesday that 704 people had tested negative for the disease.
A total of 2,147 COVID-19 tests have also been conducted so far. —LDF/NB, GMA News