(Eagle News) – The total number of coronavirus cases in the country reached 1,546 on Monday afternoon, March 30, with the addition of 128 new cases.
The Department of Health said the rise in cases were expected as there is now more partner laboratories able to test COVID-19 cases, and more tests kits have become available for the country to use.
The DPH also announced seven additional COVID-19 related deaths bringing the total number of fatalities to 78.
There were, however, no new recoveries reported as of 4 p.m., Monday, so the number of patient recoveries remain at 42.
The DOH said that five of the seven additional COVID-19 related deaths were from Metro Manila, while two were from Davao City.
They were only identified as follows:
1. A 61-year old Filipino female (PH149) from Makati City with no travel and exposure history who died on March 27
2. A 79-year old Filipino male (PH587) from Muntinlupa City with no travel history who died on March 29
3. A 43-year old Filipino male (PH647) from Paranaque City with no travel and exposure history who died on March 27
4. A 60-year old male (PH1488) from Muntinlupa City who died on March 26
5. A 45-year old Filipino male (PH1447) from Davao City who died on March 23 but was confirmed positive only on March 29
6. A 59-year old Filipino male (PH1446) from Davao City with no travel history who died also on March 23 but was confirmed positive on March 29;
7. A 74-year old Filipino male (PH1489) from Quezon City who died on March 21 but was confirmed positive on March 27
Health Undersecretary Dra. Maria Rosario Vergeire reminded the public again to maintain physical distancing, to follow cough etiquette, and to remain at home, especially for those who are not frontliners.
“Ang pagsunod po dito ay malaki na ang tulong para sa ating mga health care workers na patuloy na nangangalaga sa ating COVID-19 patients,” she said.
-1 million PPE sets bought by DOH-
Vergeire also announced that the DOH had already bought 1 million sets of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers worth some P1.8 billion. Each set is already complete. They include head gears, goggles, N95 masks, gloves, aprons and gowns.
She said that the DOH is just waiting for the delivery of these PPEs.
Vergeire said that the health care workers in public hospitals would be given priority once these are deliverd, but added that public and private hospitals, even those outside Luzon would also be given these PPEs.
-Widened capacity for COVID-19 testing as more labs are certified-
The DOH spokesperson also announced the five laboratories which have been already certified by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) for COVID-19 testing.
They are Baguio General Hospial, San Lazaro Hospital, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, Southern Philippines Medical Center, and the UP National Institute of Health. Each can already process 200 COVID-19 samples per day, she said.
There are also more than 40 public and private hositals and other laboratories with molecular biology services which have expressed intention to be certified for COVID-19 testing, Vergeire explained.
RITM also said that it had also increased its capacity for COVID-19 tests, from the previous 300 per day to about 1,000 per day.
“Dati ay 300 tests per day po kami, puede na po kami ng 900 to 1,000 tests per day,” said RITM OIC director Dr. Celia Carlos.
This week, St Lukes Medical Center in Quezon City and in Global City will also start COVID-19 testting.
“Tomorrow, Lung Center of the Philippines will also open its doors for COVID-19 testing,” Vergerire announced.
(Eagle News Service)