Philippines records three new COVID-19 deaths

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 12) — Three more COVID-19 patients in the Philippines have died, bringing the country’s disease death toll to five, the Department of Health confirmed Thursday.

Among the latest casualties is identified as PH6. She was initially admitted at Cardinal Santos Medical Center last March 5 before he was transferred to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, the DOH said.

PH6 suddenly experienced difficulty of breathing and was intubated on March 11. She died on the same day from acute respiratory distress syndrome due to pneumonia secondary to COVID-19. She is also a diabetic.

Meanwhile, PH6’s husband who is identified as PH5, died on Thursday for the same reasons. PH5 is also diabetic like his wife, and hypertensive who developed an acute kidney injury.

The fifth casualty is PH37 who was admitted on March 6 at the Philippine Heart Center, after experiencing onset symptoms of COVID-19 last February 28. PH37 was confirmed infected of the virus last March 11 and was reported to have existing hypertension.

PH37 died Thursday afternoon due to acute respiratory failure.

A 44-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan—the epicenter of the disease’s outbreak—was the country’s first death due to the virus. He was also the first reported casualty outside of mainland China.

The Health Department on Wednesday confirmed its first local death—a 67-year-old Filipino woman admitted at the Manila Doctors Hospital.

COVID-19, now considered by the World Health Organization as a pandemic, has infected more than 126,000 people in 114 different countries including China. More than 4,600 persons were killed by the disease as of Thursday, according to the Johns Hopkins University's global tracker.

The Philippines, meanwhile, has recorded 52 confirmed cases, with several government officials going on self-quarantine amid the outbreak.

COVID-19 is a disease caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2, which is related to but not as deadly as the virus that causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. COVID-19's fatality rate is around three percent.

According to WHO, 80 percent of patients only experience “mild illness” and eventually recover. It added that some 14 percent experience severe illness while five percent were critically ill.