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Philippines' COVID-19 cases exceed 7,000; recoveries at 762, death toll at 477

The number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the Philippines exceeded 7,000 on Friday after the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed 211 new infections, bringing the total to 7,192.

Forty more patients recovered from the virus, bringing the recoveries to 762, while the death toll rose to 477 with 15 new deaths.

There are currently 5,953 active COVID-19 cases and 18 clusters across the country.

The DOH earlier reported that there are indications the COVID-19 curve is flattening and that the rate of transmission of the virus in the country is slowing down.

Despite this, President Rodrigo Duterte has extended anew the enhanced community quarantine to curb the spread of the virus in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, and CALABARZON until May 15.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, meanwhile, clarified that the ECQ, which had just been extended a second time, buys the Philippines more time while the country ramps up its health system.

"[M]ahalagang maunawaan natin na ang ECQ ay hindi sagot sa COVID-19," Vergeire said in a live briefing.

"Binibigyan lang tayo nito ng konting panahon upang mapalakas natin ang ating health system na siya ngang ginawa natin nitong nakaraang limang linggo," she added.

According to Vergeire, the DOH will further ensure that the minimum health standard such as decreasing vulnerability or increasing resilience, decreasing transmission, decreasing contact, and decreasing infectiousness will be met.

"Meron na po tayong nagawa ngunit hindi pa tayo titigil dito. Sa mga susunod na araw ay sisiguruhin ng kagawaran na stritkto at masusunod natin ang minimum health standards for COVID-19 cases," Vergeire said. -MDM, GMA News