COVID-19 cases in PH top 13,000

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 20) — The country now has 13,221 cases of the coronavirus disease, as the Department of Health confirmed 279 new infections on Wednesday.

The department also reported that 89 more people recovered from the viral illness, bringing the total number of survivors to 2,932.

Meanwhile, five more patients died from the disease, raising the death toll to 842.

One more healthcare worker has contracted the virus while 44 more have recovered, the DOH added. There are now a total of 2,315 medical frontliners who have been infected and 1,018 who have recovered.

No new deaths have been logged among their ranks for over a week, with the number of fatalities remaining at 35.

Majority of the country's COVID-19 cases are in Metro Manila, wherein 150 or 54 percent of the new cases have been recorded.

In a Senate hearing on Wednesday, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the country is now experiencing a second wave of COVID-19 outbreak. The first coronavirus cases recorded in January involving three Chinese nationals were considered the first wave of infections, he added.

READ: Philippines now on 'second wave' of COVID-19 cases – Health chief

Officials earlier said a surge in new cases after the easing of restrictions may lead authorities to reimpose strict lockdown rules. Health spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire also earlier reminded the public that the whole country is still under quarantine, and thus everyone is expected to continue exercising preventive measures against the virus.

Among Filipinos abroad, the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed that an additional 24 have contracted the virus, nine more have recovered, while four more have died. These updates bring the total numbers to 2,455 confirmed infections, 585 recoveries, and 284 deaths.

Globally, 4.9 million people so far have been infected with the disease, with over 320,000 fatalities and nearly 1.7 million recoveries.