The Philippines logged on Monday 3,564 new cases of coronavirus disease 2019 after a week of reporting less than 3,000 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 342,816, the Department of Health (DOH) reported.
Monday's tally of new confirmed cases, of which 90% occurred in the last two weeks, breaks the 7-day streak of less than 3,000 cases reported per day.
The DOH likewise announced 150 recoveries. This brings the total number of recoveries to 293,152. Of the 3,564 reported cases, 3,197 (90%) occurred within the recent 14 days from September 29 to October 12, 2020.
There are 43,332 total active cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines. Of the figure, 83.9 percent are mild; 10.8 percent are asymptomatic; 1.7 percent are severe; and 3.6 percent are critical.
Ranked 18th in the world
The DOH on Monday cited the Philippines’ high COVID-19 recovery rate, even as the country took the 18th spot with the most coronavirus infections worldwide.
Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, during an online media forum, said the ranking is solely based on the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per country and other figures such as the deaths and recoveries are not yet considered.
The Philippines still has the highest number of COVID-19 cases across the Western Pacific Region, according to the World Health Organization.
Except for since Oct. 4 and Sept. 28, the Philippines has been logging less than 3,000 cases a day in the last 3 weeks.
Open-air venues favored
The DOH on Monday advised the public to conduct activities in open-air spaces, install exhaust fans in comfort rooms and avoid using recirculated air option for vehicles to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19.
This was even as health experts are still studying whether airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, is possible.
Vergeire, during an online media briefing, said the DOH has issued Department Memorandum 2020-0429, which provides administrative and engineering measures to improve ventilation and air quality in enclosed areas.
The DOH said “open-air spaces should be prioritized” in choosing where to conduct activities.
More trial participants sought
The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday expressed hope that the Philippines will be able to increase the number of participants for the WHO-sanctioned COVID-19 vaccine trial scheduled to begin later this month.
WHO Representative to the Philippines Rabindra Abeyasinghe, during the Laging Handa briefing, said the Philippines is currently looking at around 2,000 to 3,000 participants for the WHO Solidarity Trial.
“For the Philippines, WHO was hoping the Philippines will include up to 4,000 individuals,” Abeyasinghe said. “We are hoping that number could be increased because the larger the number of people, the sooner we could get evidence of efficacy, safety.”
Around P89 million has been allocated by the Philippine government for the Solidarity Trial, a global effort aimed at developing and evaluating possible candidate vaccines against COVID-19.