• Melo Acuna

More COVID-19 cases reported as deaths rise t

More COVID-19 positive cases reported as deaths reach 25

MANILA – The World Health Organization (WHO) reported 150 new COVID-19 positive cases and seven more additional deaths since March 20.

In a report uploaded by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) at 9:11 PM, Sunday, it was learned that from the 380 confirmed cases, 38.2% are still under investigation.

The Department of Health (DOH) is stepping up its case investigation and contact tracing system with Epidemiological and Surveillance Units (ESU) through online system at regional, provincial, city and municipal level.

It was also reported that many hospitals are running low on Personal Protection Equipment, “causing an increasing number of health workers to self-quarantine because of exposure to suspected COVID-19 cases.

Many parts of the Philippines with enhanced community quarantine in place. The Department of Health is currently preparing three Hospitals in the National Capital Region (NCR) to focus on COVID-19 cases. These hospitals are Lung Center of the Philippines, Philippine General Hospital and Dr. Jose Rodriguez Memorial Hospital with 75 beds. Community quarantine measures are aimed at decreasing stress on health facilities through minimizing of infection, potentially resulting in lower morbidity. Their focus would be on at-risk groups including the elderly and people with underlying health conditions including diabetes and hypertension. They will also increase the daily testing capacity at the Research Institute for Tropical medicine (RITM) with four sub-national laboratories in Cebu, Davao, Baguio and Manila. Laboratory assessment among additional public and private hospitals are ongoing.

OCHA also reported the increased cooperation among public and private partners in the procurement of urgently needed supplies in view of global shortages. The Philippine Government is finalizing its National COVID-19 Contingency Plan complemented by Humanitarian Country Team Response.

From March 20 to 22, 150 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the Philippines and seven additional deaths, Out of the 26 deaths, 78% are male, and the majority are 60 years and older, ranging between 39 and 88 years old with a median age of 66. It was reported 90% of deaths had either one or several known co-morbidities including diabetes chronic kidney disease and hypertension.

Among the 380 confirmed cases, 236 are male (62%) and 144 are female (38%). The most affected age groups are 51-60 (20%) followed by 41-50 years old with 18%. (Melo M. Acuña)

COVID-19's take on normal social life is best seen in this photo as EDSA, a main thoroughfare, is deserted early Sunday morning. An Army truck has ferried stranded commuters to hospitals. (Melo M. Acuna)

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