The Philippines reported five more fatalities from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on Wednesday, bringing the death toll to 182 as cases climbed to a national total of 3,870 after the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed 106 new infections.
Twelve more patients have also recovered from the respiratory illness, bringing the total recoveries to 96.
This is the first time that the number of recoveries is higher than reported deaths.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, the spokesman of the government’s COVID-19 Task Force, earlier said the country’s bout with the disease is far from over three weeks into the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.
He added that the lifting of the quarantine on April 30 will depend on developments in the healthcare system and widespread testing of suspected COVID-19 cases.
Too early for conclusions
The DOH said it will only know in mid-April if the country is winning its war against COVID-19.
Dr. Beverly Ho explained that, due to the 14-day incubation period of the virus, Filipinos who contracted COVID-19 before March 15 may not have started manifesting symptoms until March 29.
“Ayon po sa mga experts… mid-April pa talaga natin malalaman kung nagkaroon ng epekto ang enhanced community quarantine, nag-peak or nag-slow down ba ang mga kaso, at iba pang mahahalagang impormasyon,” she said at a virtual press briefing on Wednesday.
Ho also underscored that slowing down transmission and improving the healthcare system are crucial in determining the country’s success.
252 healthcare workers infected
The DOH also announced that 252 healthcare workers have so far been infected with COVID-19.
Of this number, 152 are doctors and 63 are nurses while 11 have died.
This is the first time that the department has released data regarding health workers who have contracted COVID-19.
Ho said incomplete data on case investigation forms has caused a lack of information on the occupations of COVID-19 patients.
“If the occupation [field] is left blank, we will never know from our database how many healthcare workers were actually affected,” she said.—LDF, GMA News