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Philippines’ COVID-19 death toll rises to 78; cases soar to 1,546


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has claimed seven more lives in the Philippines, bringing the death toll due to the new coronavirus to 78, the Department of Health has said.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Monday afternoon said there were 128 more infections to bring the national  total to 1, 546 cases.

The department also reported that the number of people who have recovered from the disease remained at 42.

The DOH has said that the surge in COVID-19 cases this month was due to the country’s increased testing capacity led by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and bolstered by several sub-national laboratories that recently became operational.

The RITM is now capable of conducting 900 to 1,000 tests each day. The sub-national laboratories, which received certification last week, can do 80 to 160 tests daily.

Earlier on Monday, the Food and Drug Administration also announced the approval of five rapid test kits that could detect SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Data from the department show that 3,303 people have been tested for COVID-19, while 920 persons are under investigation for possible infection and 6,321 others are under monitoring.

A total of 1,013 people have also tested negative for the disease while 692 more are awaiting the results of their test.

Seven new deaths

The latest fatalities, all Filipinos except for one patient whose nationality is still being validated, were identified as Patients 149, 587, 647, 1,448, 1,447, 1,446, and 1,489.

Patient 149 was a hypertensive 61-year old female from Makati City with no travel and exposure history. She died on March 27 due to acute respiratory failure secondary to community-acquired pneumonia, secondary to COVID-19.

Patient 587 was a 79-year old male Muntinlupa City resident with no travel history. He died on Monday due to acute respiratory failure secondary to pneumonia and COVID-19.

Patient 647 was a 43-year old male from Parañaque City with no history of travel or exposure to known COVID-19 cases. He died on March 27 due to acute respiratory failure secondary to pneumonia and COVID-19, and myocardial dysfunction.

Patient 1,488 was a 60-year old male from Muntinlupa City whose nationality is still being validated by the DOH along with his travel and exposure history. He died on March 26 due to acute respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock, and COVID-19.

Patient 1,447 was a 45-year old male Davao City resident whose travel and exposure history remain unknown. He died on March 23 but his COVID-19 test results only came back positive on Monday. He died of cardiopulmonary arrest, acute respiratory distress syndrome secondary to high-risk community-acquired pneumonia, and hypoxia.

Patient 1,446 was a 59-year old male from Davao City with no travel history. He died on March 23 but only tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday. He died due to acute respiratory distress syndrome secondary to high-risk community-acquired pneumonia, and hypoxia. He also had an underlying cardiac disease.

Patient 1,489 was a hypertensive and diabetic 74-year old male Quezon City resident whose travel and exposure history are still unknown. He died on March 21 but his COVID-19 test results only came back positive on March 27. He died due to acute respiratory distress syndrome secondary to pneumonia. —LDF/NB, GMA News

Tags: covid-19, news, nation, doh
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