The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has claimed 14 more lives in the Philippines, bringing the death toll to 177 on Tuesday as the total number of infections nationwide climbed to 3,764 after the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed 104 new cases.
Eleven more people have also recovered from the disease, bringing the total number of recoveries to 84.
At a virtual press briefing, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said 274 of the COVID-19-positive patients are considered mild cases, 39 are in severe condition, while 23 are critical.
He added that the DOH is still gathering data from hospitals on the condition of the rest of the cases.
Duque also said “more or less 80 percent” of all the COVID-19 cases in the country are from Luzon.
Outside Luzon, the areas with the highest number of COVID-19 cases are Davao Region with 79 and Central Visayas with 39.
“Dito (Luzon) rin po kasi unang nakapasok sa Pilipinas ang virus buhat ng volume ng flights na dumarating sa Metro Manila,” the health chief explained.
“Mas kaunti po ang kasong naitala sa Visayas at Mindanao dahil dulot na lang po ito ng local transmission mula sa Kamaynilaan.”
The government’s COVID-19 Task Force earlier announced the extension of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine to April 30 as authorities move to increase the country’s testing capacity.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Monday said a total of 22,958 tests had so far been conducted, 82.7 percent of which came out negative while 16.9 percent or 3,414 were negative.
Ten health facilities, including the national reference laboratory Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, have been certified to conduct independent COVID-19 testing as of Monday afternoon, according to the DOH.
“Ang DOH ay patuloy na ipinatataas ang ating daily testing capacity alinsunod sa pagsasagawa ng expanded testing sa bansa upang tiyak natin na maabot ang ating target,” Duque said.
The department earlier said it was eyeing an 8,000 to 10,000 daily testing capacity.
All the accredited laboratories have a combined capacity of under 2,000 according to DOH data as of Monday afternoon. — LDF/RSJ, GMA News