DoH: Covid-19 deaths climb to 33, total cases now 396

THE Department of Health on Monday confirmed 16 new cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) bringing the total to 396. It also confirmed eight new fatalities bringing the total of deaths to 33.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire also said 18 patients have already recovered.

Vergeire earlier said the big increase in the number of cases was due to improved testing capacity of laboratories and that the increases of cases might only be an “artificial” trend.

She explained that the Philippines is now able to conduct almost 1,000 tests for COVID-19 after several sub-national laboratories became operational.

Earlier Monday, 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, Duque said they can start to see the actual trend of COVID-19 transmission in the country by observing the increases in new infection cases.