THE number of people infected with the novel coronavirus breached the 10,000 mark Wednesday, May 6, as the Department of Health (DOH) reported 320 additional cases in the last 24 hours.
The DOH also reported 21 additional mortalities, bringing the death toll to 658 as of 4 p.m. Wednesday.
It also reported that 98 people have recovered from the disease. The total number of survivors is now 1,506.
Officials have warned that cases would continue to increase as government ramps up testing capacity.
A “mega swabbing center” at the Palacio de Maynila Tent, which is expected to collect specimens for an estimated 20,000 returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), started operating Wednesday.
According to National Action Plan Against Covid-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez, Jr., the swabbing center could ramp up the country’s daily testing capacity by 5,000.
The Palacio de Maynila Tent houses over 65 testing booths manned by trained swabbers, 20 encoders, and 10 runners who will ensure that the specimens are well-preserved.
It will operate for 24 hours, with three shifts, under the management of the Philippine Coast Guard and the Bureau of Fire Protection.
The DOH said three more swabbing centers, which are being set up with the help of the corporate sector, are expected to start operations this week.
The Enderun Tent located at the mega swabbing center in the eastern sector will operate on Thursday.
The Mall of Asia Arena Center in the southern sector will open on Friday, and the Philippine Arena in the northern sector will start operations on Sunday.
As of May 5, the novel coronavirus has killed 243,401 and infected more than 3.5 million people worldwide, the World Health Organization said.
The novel coronavirus, or Sars-CoV-2, causes the respiratory infection coronavirus disease (Covid-19)(SunStar Philippines)