EASTERN Samar and two more provinces plus one city in the Visayas have reported alarming spikes in new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases, some as high as 200 percent, and are now being closely monitored by the Department of Health (DOH).
The government’s fight against the deadly virus, meanwhile, took a big hit yesterday when 108 more patient died, raising the number of fatalities to 7,647 for a 1.92 fatality rate. The 108 deaths is the second highest in the country, topped only by the 186 deaths reported last September 12.
In an online press briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said aside from Eastern Samar, a surge in cases has also been monitored in Saranggani, Dinagat Island, and Ormoc City.
“We have received reports of areas where new cases are increasing. We have seen increases by as much as 200 percent,” said Vergeire.
Vergeire said the increase in cases in Eastern Samar has been attributed to its expanded testing capacity. DOH data shows Eastern Samar having 188 cases, including 83 in the last 14 days.
The Dinagat Islands has 38 cases, including five in the last 14 days, a spike attributed to the recent opening of the Surigao port.
Clustering of cases among healthcare workers has been observed in Ormoc City, Vergeire said, adding the city has 163 cases, including 24 in the last 14 days.
She said they are still checking the reason for the spike of cases in Saranggani, which has reported 323 cases, including 91 in the last 14 days.
“We still have to validate these. Aside from local government units, the DOH also needs to validate them,” said Vergeire.
The DOH also reported 2,058 new cases, 103 of them coming from Rizal, 81 from Davao City, 81 from Maguindanao, 77 from Quezon City, and 76 from Cavite.
Overall, the number of infections in the country climbed to 398,449 while there were 182 more recoveries, raising the number of survivors to 361,784. This means that 90.8 percent of patients have been able to recover, the DOH said.
The Department of Foreign Affairs reported 51 new infections among overseas Filipinos, bringing the number of overseas cases to 11,474. It also reported 44 new recoveries and no new deaths.
The number of overseas Filipinos who have survived the virus in 81 countries stood at 7,411 while 3,235 are still undergoing treatment.
In a related development, the DFA said it has repatriated to the country 8,591 overseas Filipinos since November 1, the bulk of them coming from the Middle East ( 6,947), followed by 948 from the Asia Pacific region, and 693 from Europe.
In all, the DFA said it has brought home 245,954 overseas Filipinos since it began its COVID-19 related repatriation efforts.
Seventy-three barangays in Manila received P100, 000 in cash incentives from the city government yesterday for being COVID-free from September 1 to October 31.
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno handed the cash incentives and certificates to barangay chairs in a simple ceremony after Monday’s flag raising ceremony.
Moreno also encouraged other barangays officials in the city to emulate what their counterparts in the 73 barangays have done in efforts to curb the spread of the deadly virus. Manila has a total of 896 barangays.
“If they can do it, you can also,” he said.
The Manila Health Department said that as of November 6, there were 21,108 confirmed COVID cases in the city, with 480 still active cases. A total of 20,009 have recovered while 619 have succumbed to the virus. – With Ashzel Hachero