MANILA: The Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday reported 590 additional coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases, raising the overall tally to 17,224.
DOH said 338 of the new cases are “late” or results belatedly reported and was only verified recently while 252 are “fresh cases”.
Of the fresh cases, 162 came from Metro Manila, 18 from Region 7, and 72 from different areas.
Meanwhile, 218 of the late cases are from Metro Manila, nine are repatriates, and 111 from various locations.
The Philippines now have 3,808 recoveries following the addition of 88 on May 30. Eight new fatalities, on the other hand, brought the death toll to 950.
The active cases stand at 11,972 — 714 are asymptomatic, 11,184 have mild symptoms, 56 are in severe condition, and 18 are critical.
As the government aggressively validates cases, DOH is optimistic it could iron out “at the soonest possible time” the issues causing delays in the reporting.
“The Epidemiology Bureau continues to validate aggressively and once all data has been validated then our numbers will more closely reflect the real time situation. Data regarding the late cases may be found through the DOH DataDrop,” it said.
In a virtual presser, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire also reported that the case doubling time in Metro Manila has slowed down to 6.29 days.
“Kasalukuyan, ang ating case doubling time ay 6.29 days na para sa Metro Manila kumpara sa nakalipas na buwan na mga three to four days pa. Ibig sabihin, ang panahon na aabutin para magdoble ang positibong cases ay tumatagal na po ng halos isang lingo (Currently, our case doubling time is 6.29 days for Metro Manila compared to three to four days last month. It means, the time needed to double positive cases takes almost one week),” she said.
Case doubling time or the period it takes for the number of cases to increase twofold is one of the indicators used by the government to determine the Covid-19 situation in an area. Included in these considerations is the critical care utilization rate.
DOH said the Philippines has 13,465 bed capacity for Covid-19 patients as of May 29, with only 35.2 percent of total ward beds, 34.7 percent of isolation beds, and 34.4 percent of ICU beds occupied.
On the other hand, only 18.5 percent of the 1,938 mechanical ventilators are in use.
In addition, there are 52,009 total beds in Local Isolation and General Treatment Areas for Covid-19 cases (Ligtas Covid centers) and 1,340 beds in Mega Ligtas Covid centers or quarantine facilities managed by the national government.
Aside from aggressive case validation efforts, the DOH will also hire 94,000 additional contact tracers.
Based on DOH projections, the Philippines needs to employ about 126,224 contact tracers to reach the standard 1:800 ratio.
(PNA/Joyce Ann L. Rocamora/ SRNY/RSP)