COVID-19 cases in Philippines climb to 501

THE Department of Health said that the number of persons infected with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the Philippines has climbed to 501 on Tuesday morning.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire added that in the latest report, 33 of the 501 have died while 19 have recovered, Super Radyo dzBB's Isa Avendano-Umali reported, citing DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

Just before dawn today, Vergeire confirmed the biggest single-day increase in the number of COVID-19 cases on Monday after it confirmed 82 new cases, bringing the total number of infections in the Philippines to 462 in under a month.

She added the number of confirmed cases now increased by 39. Another patient has recovered, while the number of total fatalities remained.

The DOH official earlier explained that the sudden rise of COVID-19 cases in the country was due to the increased testing capacity of laboratories, adding that the Philippines conducts between 950 to 1,000 COVID-19 tests per day.

She said the increases of cases might only be an "artificial" trend.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the DOH could be missing half of the actual total number of COVID-19 cases in the country due to the limited testing capacity of laboratories.

“Habang dumadami ang ating testing capacity, malalaman natin ang tunay na trend ng transmission sa Pilipinas,” he said.

Once they have addressed the backlog in testing, DOH said they can start to see the actual trend of COVID-19 transmission in the country by observing the increases in new infection cases.