The Department of Health on Thursday reported 2,452 additional COVID-19 cases, bringing the country’s total to 584,667.
This was the highest tally of new cases since Feb. 27. New reported infections counted at least 2,000 each for seven out of the last eight days.
Thursday’s tally did not include data from four laboratories that failed to submit results on time.
There were 15 new fatalities Thursday, bringing the death toll to 12,404.
The DOH also said 266 more patients have recovered from the illness, bringing the number of patients who have recovered from the disease to 535,037.
Of the remaining 37,226 active cases undergoing treatment or quarantine, 90.1 percent are mild, 4.9 percent are asymptomatic, 2.1 percent are severe, and 2.1 percent are in critical condition.
ECQ for Pasay City pushed
Pasay City should be on total Enhanced Community Quarantine at the moment pending the resolution of surges and control of South African variants, a former government advisor on the pandemic, Dr. Anthony Leachon, said Thursday.
Leachon, the government’s former special adviser to the National Task Force against COVID-19, said this is urgent due to the spike in cases and the detection of the South African variant among its residents.
He said granular lockdown should be implemented in Pasay City hotspots with testings and contact tracings. The affected areas in Pasay, Leachon said should be contained with rigor.
He also said healthcare workers should be vaccinated with Sinovac vaccine reported to be effective against the South African variant.
Nograles eyes MGCQ by April
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles on Thursday raised the possibility that the entire Philippines might be placed under the least restrictive modified general community quarantine by the second quarter of 2021.
Nograles said President Rodrigo Duterte might be convinced to impose the most relaxed quarantine status nationwide by April, considering that the country should already have over 2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines by that month.
Duterte earlier rejected the proposal of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Metro Manila mayors to institute a nationwide MGCQ in March.
Proper ventilation mandated
Proper adequate ventilation is now required in all workplaces and public transportation to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19, according to the new guidelines issued by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III signed Department Order 224-21 that spells out fresh rules for private establishments and public transport.
The set of guidelines include the installation and use of exhaust fans in indoor workplaces, restrooms and water closets; ventilation in air, rail, land, and sea transport, and other measures to improve and maintain the quality of air in the workplace and public transportation.
For non-air-conditioned spaces, the guidelines recommend maximizing natural ventilation through the use of doors, windows, and other openings. If natural ventilation is not feasible or inadequate, mechanical ventilation shall be provided.
For air-conditioned spaces and heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, the outdoor air supply should conform to the recommended breathing zone ventilation rates for air dilution and comfort control. The said ventilation system is also recommended to be used for at least 30 minutes before and after spaces are occupied.