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COVID-19 alert: Confirmed cases in PH soar to 380, death toll climbs to 25

By: Frances Mangosing - Inquirer.net - Inquirer.net | March 22,2020 - 12:46 PM

MANILA, Philippines — The confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the Philippines leaped to 380 after 73 new cases were confirmed, along with 25 deaths and 15 recoveries on Sunday.

DOH Asec Maria Rosario Vergeire during a press briefing on COVID-19, Monday. Screengrabbed from DOH Facebook.

The latest data was announced by Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a radio interview on dzBB.

On Saturday, there were 307 confirmed COVID-19 cases,  including 17 deaths and 13 recoveries.

Vergeire said the number of COVID-19 cases is expected to increase in the coming days because of continuous testing.

“Ang ating mga laboratoryo ay nag-iistabilize na ang capacity. Ibig sabihin nito ay nakakahabol na tayo sa backlogs before. Na-extend na natin ang kapasidad sa ibang laboratories,” she said.

(The capacity of our laboratories is now stabilizing.  We’re now catching up with our backlogs. This is because we also have extended the capacity of other laboratories.)

Vergeire added that the expected rise of confirmed cases in the coming days may be “artificial” because of the test results that had been delayed in the past.

Previously, it was only the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Muntinlupa City which had the capacity to test patients for COVID-19. Test results were released within 24 to 48 hours.

On Friday, the Department of Health activated four other laboratories capable of testing for COVID-19: San Lazaro Hospital in Manila, Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City and Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City.

The DOH will also put up testing centers in Western Visayas Medical Center in Iloilo City and Bicol Public Health Laboratory in Legazpi City.

Five private laboratories are also being considered as testing centers: Makati Medical Center, St. Luke’s Medical Center – Quezon City, St. Luke’s Medical Center Global City, The Medical City in Pasig City and Chinese General Hospital in Manila.

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For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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