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Philippines’ COVID-19 recoveries reach 3,000; cases up to 13,434

The number of patients who have recovered from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) reached 3,000 on Thursday after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 68 new recoveries as total cases nationwide rose to 13,434 with 213 new infections.

The death toll also climbed to 846 after four more patients succumbed to the respiratory illness, marking the lowest number of deaths recorded since May 3.

Among the new cases, 98 or 46 percent were from Metro Manila, 98 were from Region VII, while the remaining 17 were from various areas across the country.

Data from the DOH as of May 19 show that 239,739 individuals have been tested for COVID-19.

The Lucena United Doctors Hospital and Medical Center was the latest facility to be certified for independent COVID-19 testing, bringing the total number of accredited polymerase chain reaction laboratories nationwide to 31.

DOH Director IV Beverly Ho said they have been monitoring several clusters of infections including 24 health facilities, 17 jails, 34 communities, and three workplaces.

Meanwhile, Malacañang refuted the claim of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III that the Philippines is already experiencing its second wave of COVID-19 infections. 

Duque and the DOH earlier explained that the country’s first three cases in January, all Chinese nationals, formed the first wave.

The statement has been questioned by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, among others.

Duque and the DOH have since clarified that the country is experiencing its “first major wave of local community transmission.” —LDF, GMA News