CORONAVIRUS cases in the country have increased steadily, with the Department of Health (DOH) reporting an additional 2,379 new cases of coronavirus infection on Sunday, October 18, 2020.

These brought the daily average in the last seven days from October 12 to 18 to 2,468, an almost flat growth from the 2,406 average number of new cases a day from October 5 to 11.

In its case bulletin at 4 p.m. Sunday, DOH reported 356,618 cumulative cases of infection.

Of this number, 39,808 (11.16 percent) were active cases, 310,158 (86.97 percent) were recoveries and 6,652 (1.86 percent) were deaths.

Two cities in the National Capital Region (NCR), or Metro Manila, were among the five areas with the highest number of new cases Sunday.

Quezon City reported the highest at 172 while Caloocan City had the fourth highest number at 117.

Other areas with a high number of new cases were the provinces of Rizal (147), Bulacan (136) and Cavite (101).

Another “mass recovery” was announced on Sunday as the DOH listed 14,941 new recoveries, fewer than the 17,057 on October 11. A total of 310,158 have recovered from the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Under the DOH’s time-based recovery strategy, coronavirus-positive individuals with mild or no symptoms are declared as recoveries if they have had no symptoms for more than 14 days, the incubation period of Covid-19.

There were 50 additional mortalities on Sunday, raising the death toll from Covid-19 to 6,652.

Of the 50, 18 deaths occurred in October, 14 in September, eight in August, six in July and four in June.

The deaths were from NCR (31), Central Luzon (7), Calabarzon (5), Western Visayas (2), Mimaropa (2), Ilocos (1), Davao (1) and Bangsamoro (1).

Eleven cases previously tagged as recovered were reclassified as deaths.

There were 99 duplicates that were removed from the total case count while 14 laboratories were not able to submit their data to the Covid-19 Data Repository System on October 17, 2020.

More than 4.1 million people in the Philippines have been tested for Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

Globally, nearly 40 million people have been infected and more than 1.1 million had died as of October 18, almost 10 months after the pandemic started in Wuhan, China.

The Philippines has the 20th highest number of cases, after Indonesia, based on the tracker of the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center. (Marites Villamor-Ilano/SunStar Philippines)