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Philippines now has 230 confirmed COVID-19 cases; one death hikes toll to 18

The Philippines has recorded 13 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total up to 230.

As of 12 noon on Friday, the Department of Health has also received report of one more patient dying of COVID-19, bring the total number of casualties to 18.

The latest casualty was a 65-year-old Filipino male from Quezon City with travel history to Singapore.



The number of patients who recovered from the disease remained at eight.

Vergeire again urged the public to follow countermeasures against the virus such as proper handwashing and social distancing measures, among others.

"Magtulungan po tayo para bumaba na ang kaso ng COVID-19 sa ating bansa," she said.

According to Vergeire, test kits have already been sent to the country's strategic sub-national laboratories which include the Southern Philippines Medical Center, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, Baguio General Hospital, and some hospitals in Metro Manila.

"Ngayon po, sila po ay nag-uumpisa na mag test, at hopefully bibilis na po 'yung pag-test natin," Vergeire said.

In response to questions on why there are only limited hospitals allowed to test patients for the virus, Vergeire said that it is a "complicated process."

"[A]ng pag-sagagawa po ng test na ito for COVID-19 ay isang masalimoot, no, it's a complicated process. It's highly technical, it's highly scientific," she said.

During the testing process, Vergeire said that health care workers inactivate the virus.

"Ibig sabihin po parang pinapatay natin 'yung virus para matanggal natin siya doon sa kanyang core at magawa po ang testing," she said.

"Doon pa lang po sa proseso na 'yon, napakalaki ng risk ng health care workers na mahawa sa sakit during inactivation of [the] virus while testing," she added. -NB, GMA News