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Philippine COVID-19 cases top 160,000; recoveries hit record 40,397

The number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the Philippines breached the 160,000 mark on Sunday after the Department of Health (DOH) announced 3,420 new infections, raising the total to 161,253.

The bulk of the newest cases still came from epicenter Metro Manila with 2,091 new infections, followed by Laguna with 263, Cavite with 149, Batangas with 137, and Rizal with 106.

Among the newly reported cases, 80 percent contracted COVID-19 within the last 14 days.

Meanwhile, total recoveries also rose to 112,586 after a record 40,397 more patients recovered from the respiratory illness, while the death toll climbed to 2,665 with 65 new fatalities.

The DOH earlier said it would report the results of its “mass recovery adjustment” every Sunday as part of Oplan Recovery, where patients who have completed 14 to 21 days of isolation without developing symptoms are re-tagged as recoveries.

Recoveries now account for almost 70 percent of the total number of confirmed cases, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a briefing.

She added that 39,483 of the latest recoveries were from Oplan Recovery while 914 were newly reported by surveillance units on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the number of active cases undergoing treatment or quarantine dropped to 46,002 from a record-high 83,109 on Saturday.

The DOH said figures reported on Sunday were based on data submitted by 99 out of the 105 operational laboratories. It also removed 85 duplicate cases from the total tally of infections.

Time-based recoveries

Under the time-based and symptom-based strategy of the DOH, asymptomatic to critical COVID-19 cases may be re-tagged as recoveries upon meeting certain criteria.

Asymptomatic cases must complete 14 days of isolation starting on the day their positive swab test result was released.

Mild to moderate cases must finish at least 14 days of isolation and must no longer manifest any COVID-19 symptoms for at least three days in order to be declared a recovery.

Similarly, severe to critical cases must complete a minimum of 21 days of isolation and must no longer have any symptoms for at least three days.

“Ang final assessment ay lagi dapat gagawin ng isang licensed physician para masiguradong clinically recovered o gumaling ang pasyente,” the DOH said.

Patients who are immunocompromised are not covered by the time-based or symptom-based strategy.

The DOH emphasized that the strategy was backed by the World Health Organization and local medical groups such as the Philippine College of Physicians and Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. — DVM, GMA News