New virus infections below 2,000 for 3 days straight
For the third consecutive day, the Department of Health (DOH) reported fewer than 2,000 new coronavirus infections on Thursday, October 22, 2020, and 38 more deaths from COVID-19.
With 1,664 new infections identified by accredited laboratories, the overall number of COVID-19 cases in the country rose to 363,888, the DOH said.
It said 843 more patients had recovered, raising the total number of COVID-19 survivors in the country to 312,333. But 38 more patients died, pushing the death toll to 6,783.
The DOH said 25 of the fatalities died in October while 13 died months ago, but their deaths were recorded only now.
Eleven people who were previously tagged as recovered were reclassified as deaths.
The deaths and recoveries left the country with 44,772 active cases, or people battling the virus in hospitals and quarantines.
The vast majority, or around 42,500, of those infected, have mild or no symptoms, while around 2,328 people, or 5.2 percent of those infected, are in severe or critical condition, the DOH said.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the DOH could not say yet if the decline in new cases was due to the stoppage of testing by the Philippine Red Cross.
“There is no denying that the contribution of [Red Cross] is big as seen in their daily laboratory outputs, testing capacity and the strategic locations of their facilities,” Vergeire said in an online press briefing.
“Yes, we are affected by the stopping of the operations of the Philippine Red Cross,” she added.
In the past few days, the total COVID-19 tests conducted daily was below the DOH’s official target of 30,000 tests a day.
Out of the 149 accredited testing laboratories, nine laboratories were not able to submit data, the DOH said.
Based on the DOH’s new ranking by city or province, Cavite had the most number of new cases, 81, closely followed by the cities of Malabon and Davao with 76 new cases each, and Iloilo City with 75 new cases.
Quezon City had 69 new cases.
By region, Metro Manila still had the most cases, 438, or about 29 percent of the new cases, but Thursday was the ninth straight day that fewer than 1,000 new cases were recorded in the metropolis.
Calabarzon accounted for 235, or 15 percent of the new cases, while Western Visayas had 170, or 11 percent.
Beginning Monday, the DOH will revise its daily updates on the COVID-19 situation “to help the public understand,” Vergeire said.
She said the DOH did a survey and focused group discussions on its messaging.
While the daily bulletin currently consists of 10 pages, the new daily update starting on Monday will consist of only one page, she said.
This way the update can be easily read even on mobile phones.
All other information will remain on the DOH website on its N-CoV tracker page and the COVID-19 Philippine situational report page.
“No vital report is lost. This is only for people to better understand it,” Vergeire said.
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