Confirmed cases in Philippines soar to 380, death toll climbs to 25

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MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer) — The confirmed Covid-19 cases in the Philippines reached 380 after 73 new cases were confirmed, along with 25 deaths and 15 recoveries on Sunday.

A man wearing a protective mask walks past an image of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Manila on Friday.  AP

The latest data were announced by Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire in a radio interview.

On Saturday, there were 307 confirmed Covid-19 cases, including 17 deaths and 13 recoveries.

Vergeire said the number of Covid-19 cases is expected to increase in the coming days because of continuous testing.

“The capacity of our laboratories is now stabilizing. We’re now catching up with our backlog. This is because we also have extended the capacity of other laboratories,” she said.

Vergeire added that the expected rise of confirmed cases in the coming days may be “artificial” because of the test results that had been delayed in the past.

Previously, it was only the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Muntinlupa City which had the capacity to test patients for Covid-19. Test results were released within 24 to 48 hours.

On Friday, the Department of Health activated four other laboratories capable of testing for Covid-19: San Lazaro Hospital in Manila, Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City and Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City.

The department will also put up testing centers in Western Visayas Medical Center in Iloilo City and Bicol Public Health Laboratory in Legazpi City.

Five private laboratories are also being considered as testing centers: Makati Medical Center, St. Luke’s Medical Center – Quezon City, St. Luke’s Medical Center Global City, The Medical City in Pasig City and Chinese General Hospital in Manila.