The country’s death toll from the new coronavirus (COVID-19) climbed to 152 on Sunday after the Department of Health reported eight more fatalities.
READ: COVID-19 Tracker: PHILIPPINES as of April 5
The department also confirmed 152 more COVID-19 cases, bringing the national total to 3,246.
The number of people who have recovered from the respiratory disease rose to 64 after seven more people were discharged from hospitals.
The number of Filipino workers overseas who have tested positive for COVID-19 rose to 517, with 51 new cases, the Department of Foreign Affairs reported.
Of the total confirmed cases, 343 are undergoing treatment, 131 have recovered, and 43 have died, mostly in the Americas and Europe.
As of Saturday, there were 33 countries or regions with Filipino COVID-19 cases.
In Quezon City, the number of confirmed cases went up to 500.
The city government said it added more cases to its tally after it was given access to the database of cases maintained by the Department of Health.
The Zambales Provincial Health Office on Friday said two persons earlier classified as persons under investigation tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in Zambales to five.
Zambales Gov. Hermogenes E. Ebdane Jr. said provincial health authorities are now conducting contact tracing in areas where the two patients were reported to have been to prevent further spread of the dreaded virus.
Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Domagoso on Saturday night ordered the temporary closure of the Sampaloc Hospital after five of its doctors tested positive for COVID-19.
In a statement, the Manila Public Information Office said Domagoso ordered immediate disinfection of the hospital.
The hospitals’ doctors and other medical and non-medical staff members have been placed under quarantine.
Domagoso said that 15 doctors of the hospital were patients under investigation.
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines and two medical organizations on Sunday strongly urged patients afflicted with COVID-19 and persons under investigation to waive their right to patient privacy to help the Department of Health’s contact tracing efforts and stem the spread of the infectious disease.
IBP national president Domingo Egon Cayosa, along with Philippine Medical Association president Jose Santiago Jr., and Philippine College of Surgeons president Jose Antonio Salud said that in the current situation, the pressing demands of public health and safety carried more weight than individual rights.
“We earnestly request: That COVID-19 patients or PUIs voluntarily waive the confidentiality of their medical condition and forthrightly inform those they have been in close contact with; That the government, particularly the DOH, prudently uses and promptly share medical information to enable all concerned authorities, institutions and persons to effectively take precautionary and remedial measures,” the group said, in a joint statement.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra backed the proposal, saying “this will enable other people they have in contact with to take the necessary precautions or remedial measures to protect themselves, without having to further burden the DOH with the tedious task of contact tracing.”
The IBP, PMA and PCS noted that those who do not divulge their true condition risk infecting health workers. With Ansbert Joaquin
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