The number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the Philippines surged to 89,374 after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 3,954 new cases on Thursday, the largest single-day increase since the highly-infectious disease emerged in the country in January.
The DOH said that the number of recoveries further rose to 65,064 after it reported a record-high 38,075 new recoveries.
The death toll also increased to 1,983 after 23 more patients died, the DOH said.
In a statement, the DOH said the sudden surge in the number of confirmed cases and recoveries are due to “enhanced data reconciliation efforts with local government units.”
“Patients with mild or no symptoms are tagged as recovered 14 days from the date of onset of symptoms or by date specimen collection,” the DOH said in a press release.
Carlito Galvez, chief implementer of the government’s response to combat COVID-19, said the biggest challenge facing the government now “is how to contain and manage the new emerging cases, particularly how to expand the intensive care unit beds” at hospitals.
Galvez added that the government’s action plan continues to focus on prevention, detection, contact tracing, testing and isolation.
“To immediately address the current surge we will do aggressive testing and effective contact tracing especially during lockdowns,” Galvez added.
Testing chief Vince Dizon on Thursday bared plans of the government to open 22 more “mega quarantine facilities” in Metro Manila, the epicenter of the outbreak, due to the growing number of mild and asymptomatic COVID-19 patients.
Dizon said that the Philippines has currently 94 COVID-19 laboratories across the country that have conducted almost 1.4 million tests so far.
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