COVID cases jump to 3,246; deaths at 152

MANILA, Philippines, April 6 ------ The number of confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID) cases nationwide yesterday jumped to 3,246 while fatalities rose to 152, according to the Department of Health (DOH). Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said 152 new cases pushed the total to 3,246 and eight new deaths brought to152 the number of fatalities. Vergeire also reported that seven additional recoveries brought to 64 the number of patients who recovered from the illness. She explained that number of COVID fatalities was higher than the number of recoveries because recovery time for those afflicted with the infection takes at least two weeks.

“From the onset of infection, it takes two weeks for patients with mild symptoms to recover and three to six weeks recovery time for the severe and critical case. That is why we have yet to record higher number of recoveries from our active cases,” Vergeire said. She said the lack in testing capacity in the past also contributed to the high number of deaths. “Only the vulnerable and high-risk population were being tested for COVID before that is why there are more fatalities than recoveries,” Vergeire said.

But with mass testing to start after Easter, the DOH expects fewer COVID-related deaths. As of yesterday, Vergeire said a total of 19,585 individuals have been tested. Of the number, 83 percent tested negative for the infection. Vergeire said there are already eight laboratories capable of conducting 1,200 tests per day while 77 other laboratories are pending assessment and would also become operational soon. Also, yesterday, Vergeire reported that 12 Chinese experts have arrived in the country to help the government in combatting the spread of COVID in the country.

“In the next days, they will be going around different hospitals, laboratories and quarantine centers to assess and make the necessary recommendation,” Vergeire said. The Chinese experts, she said, also brought into the country personal protective equipment, ventilators as well as other medical equipment to be distributed to different hospitals nationwide.