DOH reports zero COVID-19 deaths for first time since March

July 10 ------ For the first time since March, the Department of Health reported zero deaths from COVID-19, even as positive cases continue to rise. The Philippines’ tally of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases topped 51,000 on Thursday after the DOH reported 1,395 more infections—1,184 “fresh” or newly validated and 211 reported late—bringing the total to 51,754. Total recoveries also rose to 12,813 after 225 more patients recovered from the respiratory disease, while no new fatalities were reported keeping the death toll at 1,314.

This marks the first time since March that no new deaths were recorded and the fifth straight day of less than 10 new fatalities. "No reported deaths today as the reported deaths submitted still requires validation- either the date or cause of death is missing," the DOH told reporters. The Philippines still has the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases across Southeast Asia between Indonesia with 68,079 and Singapore with 45,140.

“We are experiencing an increase in the number of positive cases due to the increase in testing and the community transmission,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a briefing. “The increase has been gradual and our health system is able to cope with the increasing number of cases,” she added. Vergeire also said the data reported on Thursday was based on submissions from 62 out of the 74 operational laboratories nationwide.

Among the fresh cases, 390 are from Metro Manila, 243 are from Region VII, 67 are repatriates, while the remaining 484 are spread out across the country. Among the late cases, 53 are from Metro Manila, 47 are from Region VII, three are repatriates, while the 108 other patients came from various areas nationwide. There are also 37,627 active cases undergoing treatment or quarantine in the Philippines, also the highest across the Southeast Asian region.

The DOH earlier said it was monitoring 488 clusters of infection across the country, majority of which were within communities. As of July 9, the country has 62 certified polymerase chain reaction facilities and 21 GeneXpert laboratories that have tested a total of 825,139 individuals. “Ang average number of tests na ginagawa na po natin sa nakalipas na pitong araw ay 19,459 tests. Bukod po dito, noong July 7 po ay nakapag-record po tayo ng highest number of tests conducted in a single day kung saan nakapagsagawa po tayo ng 23,104 tests in a day,” Vergeire said. Meanwhile, 1,306 or 43.26 percent of intensive care unit beds for COVID-19 patients nationwide are currently occupied while 1,989 or 25.04 percent of mechanical ventilators are in use.