For the 11th day running, health officials reported new cases over the 3,000 mark, as a key lawmaker said the two-week modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces would not be enough to reduce the daily number of new infections.
In an interview on radio dzBB, Quezon Rep. Angelina Tan, chairperson of the House committee on health, said after a week of MECQ, there were hardly any changes in the number of new cases being reported daily.
To tell you honestly, it's really not enough,” she said in a mix of English and Filipino, about the two-week MECQ. “Two weeks is not enough for us to achieve the target of lowering the number of cases.”
The Department of Health (DOH) reported on Sunday an additional 3,109 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections to 129,913.
The Philippines still has the highest number of infections and active cases across Southeast Asia.
The 3,109 confirmed cases were based on test results from 82 of the 99 operational testing labs.
READ: PH posts over 4,000 new COVID-19 cases
The DOH recorded 61 new fatalities in the country, bringing the death toll to 2,270 since the pandemic began.
The DOH also reported 654 new recoveries, bringing to 67,673 the number of patients who have recovered from the disease.
Of the 3,109 reported cases Sunday, 2,055 (66 percent) occurred within the recent 14 days (July 27-August 9, 2020). In the last two weeks, Metro Manila accounted for 992 or almost half of the total number of cases. Region 4A accounted for 320 or 16 percent, while Region 3 had 156 cases or 8 percent of the total. Repatriates accounted for 156 cases or 8 percent of the total.
As of Sunday, there were 59,970 active cases undergoing treatment or quarantine, 91.2 percent of which are mild, 7.5 percent of which are asymptomatic, 0.7 percent of which are severe, and 0.6 percent of which are in critical condition.
READ: Google Philippines adds more COVID-19 testing centers on Maps
Also on Sunday, Senator Christopher Go said the government was taking one step backward and two steps forward in its decision to revert Metro Manila and nearby provinces to an MECQ as part of its “recalibration” strategy.
Go, chairman of the Senate committee on health and demography, expressed concern over the rising number of COVID-19 infections.
On Aug. 6, the Philippines overtook Indonesia and emerged as Southeast Asia’s new coronavirus hot spot.
But Go noted that the Philippines also takes the top spot in terms of testing capacity in the region, having conducted a total of 1,643,539 tests with an average of 28,938 tests per day within the last seven days, as of Aug. 4.
By comparison, he said Indonesia conducted an estimated 908,000 tests with an average of 4,291 tests per day during the same period.
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