CNN Philippines — Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III disclosed Saturday that his sister died of the coronavirus disease after more than three weeks in the hospital.
In an online Laging Handa media briefing, Bello said Catherine was admitted on March 25, and that "she was about to recover, I don't know kung anong nangyari, nagrelapse."
"Then just this morning we received the news that my sister, my favorite, dear sister, Cathy already left us," he said, adding that she was "the first to die among ten children."
Communications Secretary Martin Andanar and Undersecretary Rocky Ignacio expressed their condolences and thanked the Labor chief for joining the virtual briefing despite his loss.
Nationwide, the number of coronavirus disease cases rose to 5,878 on Friday, with 387 deaths and 487 recoveries.
The country has a case fatality rate of 6.6 percent, the Department of Health said. This is slightly higher than the global average of 6.4 percent. The agency said most of the deaths are 50 years old and above.