Philippines reports lowest new infections in two weeks

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 22) — The Department of Health confirmed on Wednesday 111 new cases of the coronavirus disease, the lowest reported number of new infections in two weeks.

The Philippines now has 6,710 cases of COVID-19.

The country last recorded a slower increase in infections on April 8, with 106 new cases. The day before, there were 104 new cases.

These are rare as the government expands its coronavirus testing efforts. It accredited 17 laboratories, which have conducted 61,049 tests as of Wednesday. The highest number of new cases recorded in a day was 538 on March 31.

Meanwhile, the country has been seeing a rise in the number or recoveries, which is now at 693. The DOH said 39 more people have survived the disease.

The death toll has risen to 446, as the DOH confirmed nine new fatalities. The Philippines has a case fatality rate of 6.6 percent, the DOH has said.

There have been more recoveries than deaths for more than a week now as the DOH included in its report those who have gotten well while under home quarantine. Previously, its count only included those confined in hospitals.

The DOH explained it takes around 13 days up to more than a month for patients to recover, depending on the severity of their symptoms.

To contain the spread of the virus, the government has placed Luzon under enhanced community quarantine for more than a month now, suspending most work, classes, and mass transportation so people would stay home.

Earlier, the Luzon-wide quarantine was extended until April 30 amid daily spikes in new infections. Other local government units across the country enforced their own lockdowns.

The Philippines confirmed its first case in late January, a month after the coronavirus outbreak began in Wuhan, China. COVID-19 has since infected more than 2.5 million worldwide and killed over 177,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University's COVID-19 global tracker.