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Philippines’ COVID-19 recoveries now 654 as cases leap to 6,599

The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday reported that 41 more patients have recovered from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), bringing total recoveries to 654 as cases nationwide rose to 6,599 with 140 new infections.

The death toll from the respiratory illness also climbed to 437 after nine more patients died.

The DOH announced on Monday that over 55,000 Filipinos had so far been tested for COVID-19. 

On Tuesday, this figure rose to 58,072 tests — 50,471 or 86.9% of which came out negative while 7,547 or 13% were positive.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire explained that the number of confirmed cases may differ from the number of people who tested positive for COVID-19 since results still need to undergo processing and validation.

Seventeen laboratories nationwide have been certified to conduct independent COVID-19 testing while 40 others are currently undergoing the laboratory certification process of the DOH.

Meanwhile, Malacañang allayed fears that a total lockdown will be declared to stem the spread of the disease but said that there was near-consensus among health experts that the quarantine should be extended in a modified manner. 

Prediction models earlier showed that the Luzon-wide quarantine, set to expire on April 30, helped drive down the possible number of COVID-19 cases in the country.

“Binilhan tayo ng oras ng ating pagpapatupad ng enhanced community quarantine para tayo ay lalong makapaghanda,” Vergeire said during the virtual press briefing. — LDF/RSJ, GMA News