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COVID-19 cases near 7,000 as recoveries top 700, DOH reports

By Eimor Santos, CNN Philippines

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 23) — The Department of Health on Thursday confirmed 271 new coronavirus disease cases, bringing the country total to 6,981.

This is the biggest spike this week following the slower increase in new infections reported on Wednesday – 111 new cases. The last time a higher number of new cases was recorded was on April 14 – 291 new infections.

The country continues to see a rise in the number of recoveries which hit 722. The DOH said 29 more people have survived the viral illness.

Meanwhile, 16 more patients have died from COVID-19, raising the death toll to 462.

Flattening the curve?

Health Spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire in an online briefing said “there are indications” the country is flattening the curve of new coronavirus infections, but noted it is too early to declare it now.

She said the country has improved its case doubling time – from three days to five days. It also takes a longer time for the number of deaths to double, from three days to seven days.

Bumabagal na ang pagdami ng kaso pero hindi ibig sabihin ay magiging complacent tayo at bibitaw na tayo,” Vergeire said.

[Translation: There has been a slower increase in cases but this does not mean we will be complacent and let go.]

To contain the virus, the government has placed Luzon under enhanced community quarantine, suspending most work, classes, and mass transportation so people would stay home.

Earlier, the Luzon-wide quarantine was extended until April 30 amid daily spikes in new infections, the highest was 538 on March 31. Other local government units across the country enforced their own lockdowns.

More recoveries

There have been more recoveries than deaths for more than a week now as the DOH included in its report those who have gotten well while under home quarantine. Previously, its count only included those confined in hospitals.

The DOH explained it takes around 13 days up to more than a month for patients to recover, depending on the severity of their symptoms.

To contain the spread of the virus, the government has placed Luzon under enhanced community quarantine, suspending most work, classes, and mass transportation so people would stay home.

Earlier, the Luzon-wide quarantine was extended until April 30 amid daily spikes in new infections, the highest was 538 on March 31. Other local government units across the country enforced their own lockdowns.

Worldwide, COVID-19 has infected more than 2.6 million and killed over 183,000 since the outbreak began in Wuhan, China in December 2019, according to the Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 global tracker. The Philippines reported its first case late January.

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