COVID-19 cases surge to 307 in biggest single-day increase since start of outbreak

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 21) — The number of people with coronavirus disease in the country has jumped to 307, after 77 more have tested positive, the Department of Health said Saturday. This is the biggest single-day increase of cases in the country since the outbreak began in January.

DOH said five more people also recovered from the disease officially known as COVID-19.

This development comes shortly after the agency announced that another person died from COVID-19. A total of 13 people have recovered, while the death toll remains at 19.

Among those who have recently recovered were the couple considered to be the country’s first local transmission of COVID-19. Four out of five of the new recovered cases were also elderly patients aged 69 to 75, who are seen to be one of the most vulnerable to complications brought by COVID-19. Those who were previously cured of the disease were mostly younger — from 24 to 46 years old.

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

According to the WHO, around 80 percent of patients only experience “mild illness” and eventually recover. Some 14 percent experience severe illness while five percent were critically ill, it added.

Good personal hygiene practices such as washing hands properly with soap and water and keeping away from crowds can help prevent catching the virus and passing it on to others, health authorities say.