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Philippines’ COVID-19 recoveries overtake deaths as cases leap to 5,453

The number of patients who have recovered from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the Philippines overtook the death toll on Wednesday as the Department of Health (DOH) reported that cases nationwide jumped to 5,453 with 230 new infections.

A record-high 58 more patients have also recovered from the respiratory disease, bringing the total recoveries to 353.

This marks the third day in a row that more new recoveries were reported than deaths.

Meanwhile, the DOH reported 14 new deaths for a total of 349.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the country’s COVID-19 testing centers have conducted 39, 947 individual tests as of Tuesday, 34,116 of which came out negative while 5,782 turned out positive.

She explained that the number of positive tests and confirmed COVID-19 cases differ because test results still need to be processed and validated.

There are currently 16 certified COVID-19 testing centers nationwide while 47 other institutions are undergoing the DOH’s laboratory certification process.

The Philippines still has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia, trailed by Malaysia which reported 5,072 cases with 83 deaths and 2,647 recoveries on Wednesday.

Criteria for discharge of patients

Vergeire said suspected COVID-19 cases may be discharged or sent home for self-isolation after initially testing negative if:

  • their condition has improved;
  • there are no indications that they need to remain in the hospital;
  • they were diagnosed with an illness other than COVID-19 that explains their symptoms; and
  • there is a high chance that they are not infected with COVID-19.

Confirmed cases, on the other hand, will only be discharged if their condition has improved, their symptoms have disappeared, and they have tested negative for COVID-19 through a polymerase chain reaction machine-based test.

Vergeire stressed that all discharged COVID-19 patients are still required to undergo a 14-day home quarantine. —LDF, GMA News