DOH reports 552 new COVID-19 cases, as country’s total climbs to 18,638

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 1) — Another 552 people in the country have contracted the coronavirus disease, with the nationwide tally climbing to 18,638, the Department of Health confirmed on Monday.

Of the newly logged infections, 119 have been classified as “fresh cases” or those diagnosed within the past three days. The other 433 are “late cases” or those detected at least four days ago, but were only recently validated by the DOH.

Meanwhile, 70 more patients have survived the illness, while another three have died. These figures bring the total recoveries to 3,979, and the death toll to 960.

A further breakdown of the total number of new cases showed that 231 or over 40 percent come from Metro Manila.

Central Visayas registered 99, while 202 were from other regions. The remaining 20 infected are returning overseas Filipino workers, the DOH added.

The agency began to differentiate “fresh” from “late” cases, as they clarified that the spike in daily confirmed infections is due to the country’s increased testing capacity and “aggressive efforts” to catch up on the testing backlog.

Health spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire earlier explained that the mass hiring program as well as the recent rollout of the COVIDKAYA information system helped speed up the validation of COVID-19 cases.

Public health epidemiologist Dr. Troy Gepte also said that the coronavirus case fatality rate and case doubling time are down, indicating that the country is able “to manage the pandemic.”

Metro Manila eased on Monday to a general community quarantine, where more businesses are allowed to reopen, after over two months under strict lockdown.

This move to downgrade the community quarantine status in the country’s capital came amid concerns to revive the ailing economy, as the pandemic has forced a lot of industries to shut down.

However, some experts and lawmakers have forecasted that this transition will result in a rise in daily confirmed infections.

Officials continue to remind the public to observe health protocols and preventive measures to contain the virus.

Globally, COVID-19 has infected over 6.1 million people. Of this number, more than 370,000 died, while over 2.6 million recovered.