COVID-19 cases in PH jump to 462, as country records biggest single-day increase

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 23) — The Department of Health recorded 82 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, the country's biggest single-day increase since the outbreak, bringing the total number to 462.

DOH also announced that 8 more people died from the viral disease, bringing the death toll to 33. Meanwhile, another patient recovered, with the total number of recoveries currently standing at 18.

The latest patient to recover is a 54-year-old man from Manila. He was discharged from the hospital on Saturday.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the surge in the number of COVID-19 cases is an offshoot of improved testing capacity.

"Wag po tayo magugulat na in the coming days, pataas po nang pataas,” she said, adding that the public should remain on alert against the deadly virus.

[Translation: Let's not be surprised if in the coming days, there will be a continued increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.]

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.

Worldwide, there are over 339,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to the Johns Hopkins University's COVID-19 global tracker.

According to the World Health Organization, 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.

Health authorities urge the public to practice preventive measures such as frequent hand washing with soap, covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and maintaining social distance.