The number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the Philippines topped 61,000 on Thursday after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 2,498 more infections—1,246 “fresh” or newly validated and 1,252 reported late—bringing the total to 61,266.
The five provinces with the highest number of new cases were Metro Manila with 1,886, Cebu with 198, Cavite with 57, Davao del Sur with 44, and Laguna with 44.
Total recoveries also rose to 21,440 after 467 more patients recovered from the respiratory disease, while the death toll climbed to 1,643 with 29 new fatalities.
There are also 38,183 active cases undergoing treatment or quarantine, 90.7 percent of which are mild, 8.5 percent are asymptomatic, 0.4 percent are severe, and 0.5 percent are in critical condition.
As of July 15, the Philippines had 63 certified polymerase chain reaction facilities and 22 GeneXpert laboratories that had tested a total of 984,313 individuals.
Meanwhile, 47.1 percent of intensive care unit beds for COVID-19 patients nationwide were occupied while 26.5 percent of mechanical ventilators were in use.
The DOH said figures reported on Thursday were based on data submitted by 71 out of the 84 operational laboratories.
The department also removed 82 duplicate cases from the total tally of infections.
Malacañang earlier urged Filipinos to disprove University of the Philippines experts’ projection that COVID-19 cases could spike to 60,000 by the end of July.
The experts later revised their projection to 80,000 cases by July 31 due to the “genuine surge” of infections, especially in Metro Manila.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque earlier announced that quarantine restrictions in Cebu City would be slightly loosened to a modified enhanced community quarantine, while Metro Manila would remain under general community quarantine until July 31.
Roque also said that the country had started to flatten its curve of infections when the stringent enhanced community quarantine was imposed in March, but the Philippines’ gains against COVID-19 were halted by the loosening of restrictions to restart the economy. —LDF/NB, GMA News