Philippines COVID-19 death toll rises to 45, cases now 707

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 26) — Seven more people have died from the coronavirus disease in the country, bringing the death toll to 45, the Department of Health reported on Thursday.

In its 4:00 p.m. press briefing, the DOH also confirmed 71 new COVID-19 patients, bringing the total number of cases to 707.

Meanwhile, two more patients have recovered from the viral disease, for a total of 28 recoveries.

The latest deaths are all Filipinos with no recent travel history overseas. They are a 46-year-old man and 80-year-old woman from Rizal province, a 72-year-old woman from San Juan City, a 50-year-old woman from Pasig City, a 56-year-old man from Pampanga province, an 87-year-old man from Sultan Kudarat, and a 46-year-old man from Laguna province.

Five of them died before their COVID-19 test results came out.

Most of them also had underlying medical conditions ranging from hypertension, diabetes, obstructive pulmonary disease, and stage 1 colon cancer.

Meanwhile, the 27th patient to recover from COVID-19 is a 41-year-old Filipino man from Makati City. He recently traveled to Japan and was exposed to coronavirus cases. He was discharged from the hospital on March 21.

The 28th patient who recovered is a 69-year-old Filipino man from Marikina City. He recently traveled overseas and had contact with an infected person. He was given a clean bill of health on March 22.

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Worldwide, COVID-19 has killed more than 21,300 people, mostly in Italy, although the outbreak began in Wuhan, China in December last year. Over 472,000 people have been infected, according to the Johns Hopkins University's COVID-19 global tracker.

Eight in ten, or around 80 percent, of infected patients experience "mild illness" and eventually recover from COVID-19, according to the World Health Organization. Some 15 percent experience severe illness while 5 percent were critically ill, the WHO said.

To prevent the spread of the virus, authorities are urging people to practice regular hand washing, cover their mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and avoid close contact with those who exhibit virus symptoms.

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