COVID-19 cases in the Philippines jump to 140, death toll at 12

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 15) — The Philippines saw another two-digit jump in its COVID-19 cases, with the Health Department reporting that the total number of patients with the viral disease has reached 140.

The Health Department reported Sunday 29 new patients with COVID-19. They did not immediately release details on the new patients. Among them is a 13-year-old girl from Quezon City, who is the youngest patient who tested positive for the disease in the country.

Thirteen of the new cases had no known contact with a COVID-19 patient and had no travel history abroad, while three were confirmed to have been in contact with someone with the viral disease.

Most of the new cases are admitted in different hospitals in Metro Manila, except for a 21-year-old woman who is admitted at Davao Regional Medical Center and a 47-year-old man who is admitted at Silang Specialists Medical Center.

Most of the COVID-19 patients live in Quezon City, with 22 of them residing in Metro Manila’s biggest city. Fifteen patients take residence in San Juan City, while another 15 live in Makati City.

The Health Department also reported three new deaths due to the disease: an 86-year-old American man from Marikina City, a 40-year-old Filipino from Pasig City and a 64-year-old man from Negros Oriental, and a 56-year-old Filipino man who was admitted to Makati Medical Center.

The 64-year-old man was a town councilor in Negros Oriental, according to Governor Ruel Degamo who first announced his death. He had been to Greenhills Shopping Center in San Juan, which houses a prayer hall which was frequented by another COVID-19 patient who also died later on.

Both the councilor, the American man, and the 56-year-old Filipino had preexisting conditions. The councilor had chronic renal disease and had a renal transplant in 2010, the other Filipino man was reported to have had asthma, while the American man had hypertension, diabetes and chronic artery disease.

Also among the new deaths is a 40-year-old Filipino man from Pasig City who had not traveled abroad and had no known exposure to any COVID-19 patient.

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

According to the 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.

The disease is spread through small droplets from the nose or mouth when people infected with the virus cough or sneeze.

To prevent infection, authorities are urging people to practice regular hand washing, cover the mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and avoid close contact with those who show respiratory symptoms.

Commonly reported COVID-19 symptoms are fever, dry cough and shortness of breath. Those with severe and critical symptoms should call the Health Department at (02) 8-651-7800 local 1149-1150.

This story is breaking and will be updated.