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Philippines reports 34 new COVID-19 cases, brings total to 98

The Philippines on Saturday recorded 34 new cases of the coronavirus disease 2019, bringing the total number to 98.

In a statement, the Department of Health (DOH) said it is currently validating details of the 34 new cases, as well as possible additional cases.

“Now it is our turn to do our part in mitigating the spread of the disease. The DOH earnestly asks for everyone’s cooperation," Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.

He also urged the public to practice preventive measures to stall the spread of the coronavirus.

"[P]ractice preventive measures, go on strict home quarantine if you are experiencing mild symptoms, and help halt the spread of fake news," the secretary said.

"The success of our measures to contain COVID-19 is hinged on your participation. We will get through this together,” he added. 

So far, there have been eight confirmed deaths from COVID-19 in the Philippines. 

PUIs and PUMs

In its statement, the DOH said the Philippine Heart Center (PHC) has decided to limit its services after several health personnel were exposed to confirmed case-patient 37.

Patient 37 is an 88-year-old female who died of acute respiratory failure on Thursday afternoon.

The PHC will only accommodate in-patient and emergency cases while hospital services for Z-benefit packages and elective cases are also temporarily canceled until further notice.

Services at the Outpatient Department were temporarily stopped last March 11. Services are expected to reopen on March 16.

As of Saturday, the PHC recorded 13 patients under investigation (PUIs), 12 of which are health workers and a non-health person.

Meanwhile, the PHC has discharged four patients under monitoring (PUMs) that were formerly quarantined in a restricted area at the hospital.

However, six PUMs remain quarantined at the facility. The PHC is also currently verifying the number of PUMs in home quarantine.

The Rizal Medical Center in Pasig has also reported the exposure of several health workers to the virus. However, their condition and exact figures are still being verified.

“I assure our health workers that you have the full support of the whole Department as we go through this ordeal together," Duque said.

"I commend the commitment of our health workers, who amidst the risks they are currently facing, are still serving and saving the lives of our kababayans," he added.— MDM, GMA News