PH posts highest single-day rise with nearly 7,000 new cases; total now over 136,000

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 10) — Nearly 7,000 new coronavirus cases were reported by the Department of Health on Monday, again breaking the country’s COVID-19 record for single-day spike.

The country broke its August 4 record with 6,958 more infections added to the latest tally — 5,394 detected in the last three days and the other 1,564 part of the validation backlog.

These brought the national case count to 136,638, wherein 66,186 are active cases or currently ill patients, according to the DOH.

Sixty percent or 4,163 of the new patients are from Metro Manila, according to the case report. The DOH added that Laguna registered 400, Rizal 363, Cavite 312, and Bulacan 178.

It further detailed that 254 new cases were reported among returning overseas Filipinos.

Recoveries also rose by 633, with the tally of survivors reaching 68,159. Meanwhile, the disease has claimed the lives of 24 more people, bringing the death toll to 2,293.

The DOH noted that of the newly reported deaths, six occurred in August, 11 in July, while seven in April to June.

Before the release of Monday's case updates, National Task Force Against COVID-19 Chairman Delfin Lorenzana said he believes Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal are likely ready to ease lockdown rules by August 19.

READ: Metro Manila, 4 provinces may be ready to ease to GCQ by next week, Lorenzana says

However, he did not discount the possibility that the strict protocols may be extended, should there be an observed increase in the number of new cases.

"There is a chance kung talagang tataas nang grabe, siguro more than 6,000 to 10,000 per day ang bagong case, kailangan i-extend ang MECQ," he told CNN Philippines Monday afternoon. "Pero ako ay optimistic na bababa pa ito as we near August 18."

[Translation: There is a chance for an extension if it spikes drastically to 6,000 to 10,000 cases daily. If this happens, then we need to extend the MECQ. But I am optimistic it will continue to go down as we draw closer to August 18.]

Both Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire and President of Philippine College of Physicians Dr. Mario Panaligan, meanwhile, said it is too early to give an assessment of the effectiveness of the MECQ.

They said at least two to three weeks are needed to see the full impact of the lockdown.

Meanwhile, public health advocate Dr. Mikey Vergara suggested that students should be asked to volunteer as contact tracers to further ramp up the national government’s contact tracing efforts.

But Vergara clarified that students should be provided with proper personal protective equipment and medical care before engaging in contact tracing because of the high risk of COVID-19 exposure.

“We really have to put up a strong offensive against the coronavirus. We really need to contact trace more,” Vergara told CNN Philippines’ Rico Hizon on Monday.

Three more Filipinos abroad also tested positive for the virus, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs. The tally of infections among overseas Filipinos reached 9,757, with 5,790 recoveries and 708 deaths.

Globally, more than 731,000 people have died from COVID-19, out of over 19.8 million people who have fallen ill, according to the Johns Hopkins University. The data also shows 12.1 million people or around 60 percent of all patients worldwide have recovered.