(UPDATED) New confirmed cases of coronavirus infection in the Philippines hit an all-time high of 539 in the last 24 hours as the Department of Health (DOH) improved its capability to validate cases.
This latest number as of Thursday, May 28, is higher than the 538 recorded on March 31, which epidemiologists considered earlier as the peak of the country’s epidemic curve.
The total case count increased to 15,588 as of 4 p.m. Thursday, just a few hours before President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to announce his decision on the recommendation to downgrade quarantine restrictions.
DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, during the regular virtual press briefing Thursday, attributed the spike in cases to the department’s improved capability to validate reported cases with the hiring of additional encoders.
“Inaasahan pa rin po natin na sa darating na mga araw, maari pa ring tumaas ang ating mga kaso dahil patuloy na po tayong nakakapag-validate ng ating mga kaso,” she said.
(We expect the number of cases to continue increasing in the next few days because we are still validating other reported cases.)
“Kumpara sa nakaraang araw, ang trend ng bilang ng mga kaso ay tumataas ngunit dahil po ito sa patuloy na pagtaas ng bilang ng mga kaso nating nava-validate sa ngayon dahil nakapag-hire na po tayo ng additional encoders,” she added.
(The number of cases is on an uptrend because of the increasing number of cases that have been validated with the hiring of additional encoders.)
Of the new cases, 330 came from the National Capital Region or Metro Manila, 55 from Central Visayas or Region 7, 99 from other regions, and 55 from among the repatriates.
The DOH also reported 17 additional mortalities, raising the death toll to 921.
An additional 92 patients have recovered from the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), bringing total recoveries to 3,598 as of Thursday.
Among overseas Filipinos in 47 countries, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Covid-19 cases went up to 2,821 as of May 28.
No new deaths were reported. The death toll remained at 334.
Of the remaining total, 1,553 are receiving supportive care while 934 have recovered or have been discharged.
Worldwide, Covid-19 has killed 349,095 out of the more than 5.48 million people who have been infected.
Covid-19 is caused by the novel coronavirus, or Sars-CoV-2. (MVI/SunStar Philippines)