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Philippines coronavirus cases reach 34,073; death toll at 1,204

Philippines coronavirus cases

Capacity of Central Visayas hospitals and Philippines Coronavirus facilities in 'warning zone'

Philippines coronavirus cases reach 34,073; death toll at 1,204

The Department of Health also reports 214 new recoveries, bringing the total to 9,182 recoveries

The Department of Health (DOH) announced that as of Friday, June 26, there are now 34,073 confirmed coronavirus cases in the Philippines.

Of the 774 new cases announced on Friday, 357 are fresh cases and 113 are late cases.

Fresh cases are positive results released to patients within the last 3 days, and late cases are positive results released 4 days prior or earlier.

There were 214 new recoveries on Friday, bringing the total to 9,182. Meanwhile, 18 new deaths, were recorded, raising the total death toll to 1,204.

In recent days, the DOH reported high single-day increases of new coronavirus cases that reached its peak on Tuesday, June 23, at 1,150 new cases.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that of the active cases, 96.2% or 21,362 are mild cases, and 3.2% or 710 are asymptomatic cases. Vergeire said this indicates high chances of recovery.

Of the active cases, 0.5% or 102 are severe cases, and 0.1% or 23 are critical cases.

Among ASEAN countries, the Philippines, thus far, has the highest rate of active cases and the lowest case recovery rate.

Recent actions

Experts predicted that by the end of June, the total number of cases of coronavirus in the Philippines could reach 40,000, pointing to a still high reproduction number. It indicates the "transmission potential" of a disease.

Using those predictions, experts warned against further easing of quarantine measures in the country.

But the national government is now studying the possible reentry of foreign workers and businessmen who hold permanent or long-term visas to the Philippines.

Metro Manila, the epicenter of the coronavirus in the Philippines, is under general community quarantine until June 30.

Central Visayas, particularly Cebu City, is a new focal point as President Rodrigo Duterte deploys Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu there to evaluate the situation.

Cebu City currently has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country at 4,449 as of June 24.

Meanwhile, Central Visayas' critical care capacity is already in the "warning zone," according to the health department.

As the country battles the pandemic, Duterte still keeps a focus on terrorism which he said is the "number one in our list."

Nationwide, there was an increase of 1,150 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing the total to 31,825.

Experts estimated that nationwide coronavirus infections could hit 40,000 by the end of June if the government is unable to slow down or contain the contagion.

Capacity of Central Visayas hospitals and Coronavirus facilities in 'warning zone'

The Department of Health said the critical care utilization rate in Central Visayas, including Cebu province, is now within "warning zone," raising the need to boost the region's capacity to respond to coronavirus cases.

“We need to monitor closely the critical care capacity in Region 7. The whole region is in warning zone, with Cebu City having higher utilization rates,” the Department Of Health said in a statement late Thursday.

The critical care utilization rate refers to the percentage utilized out of all available mechanical ventilators and isolation beds in temporary health facilities as well as hospitals. It is a metric to determine whether a healthcare system will be overwhelmed.

A healthcare system is considered in a ‘safe’ zone if less than 30 percent of the beds and ventilators are occupied, while it is in ‘warning zone’ if 30 to 70 percent are utilized. On the other hand, the system faces ‘danger’ if more than 70 percent of their beds and ventilators are used.

The DOH tracker showed that as of June 26, 57.7 percent of the isolation and ward beds in Central Visayas are taken, while 57.31 of the total ventilators are being utilized. In Cebu province, 62.7 percent of the beds are being used while 60.27 percent of ventilators are utilized. The DOH said that Cebu is currently ramping up its healthcare capacity, increasing its supply of beds for Coronavirus patients.

Meanwhile, in Coronavirus hotspot Cebu City, 77.7 percent of the beds in hospitals and temporary isolation facilities are occupied while 64.35 percent of the ventilators are being used. These indicators prompted the DOH to recommend that the city revert to enhanced community quarantine for 15 days, Health spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire has said.

According to the national government data, Central Visayas logged 6,270 Coronavirus cases. Of this number, 4,160 coronavirus infections were recorded in Cebu City.

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