562 new virus cases, 9 more deaths

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    THE Department of Health (DOH) reported 562 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, raising the country’s total to 27,799, with nine more deaths bringing the number of fatalities to 1,116.
    Of the newly-reported cases, 481 are “fresh cases” while the 81 others are “late cases.”

    “Fresh cases” refer to test results that came out and were validated by the DOH – Epidemiology Bureau in the last three days while “late cases” are those whose laboratory results came out four days ago or more but were just recently validated by the DOH.

    The DOH also reported 270 new cases of recoveries, bringing to 7,090 the total number of patients who have recovered from the dreaded disease.

    Meanwhile, the Justice Department said 16 inmates or persons deprived of liberty in Bureau of Corrections facilities have died due to the COVID-19.

    Last week, BuCor Spokesman Gabriel Chaclag said 15 PDLs from the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City and the Correctional Institute for Women in Mandaluyong City have died due to the virus.

    Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete said the number of PDLs and BuCor personnel who were infected with COVID-19 have also increased to 301 from the last data provided by the DOJ at 222.

    Among those infected, Perete said 141 PDLs and 38 staff came from the NBP while 82 PDLs and 7 staff were from the CIW.

    Perete said 33 personnel from the BuCor main office also tested positive for the virus.
    Perete said a total of 145 PDLs and BuCor staff have recovered.

    The DOJ has enlisted the help of the DOH in contact tracing after five of its employees tested positive for the dreaded virus during the confirmatory swab test.

    On Wednesday, DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra said five of the 72 employees who tested positive during the rapid antibody test also tested positive during the confirmatory swab test done at the Philippine General Hospital and the Chinese General Hospital.

    Of the five, three are working at the DOJ proper, one in a field office, and the other is an outsourced security officer.

    This development prompted Guevarra to order a lockdown at the DOJ main office until June 29.

    All depot personnel of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) will undergo rapid antibody testing after being exposed to a fellow worker who had tested positive for the dreaded virus, according to MRT-3 Director for Operations Michael J. Capati.

    Capati said that last June 14, one of the depot personnel of Sumitomo-MHI-TESPI tested positive for COVID-19 after undergoing a test last June 11. Subsequent contact tracing revealed that 32 depot personnel had made contact with the worker and 14 of them tested positive for the virus.

    As a precautionary measure, Capati said all depot personnel of the MRT-3 line will undergo rapid antibody testing today, Friday.

    The Department of Foreign Affairs reported that 17 more overseas Filipinos have been infected with COVID-19, bringing the number to 6, 91 in 53 countries.

    There were six new deaths in Europe and the Middle East, bringing the death toll to 472. Only one new recovery was reported from the Asia and Pacific region.

    The total number of overseas Filipinos who recovered from the virus is now at 2, 843.

    In a related development, the US Embassy in Manila announced that it will provide $2.5 million or about P126 million to aid the Philippines in providing basic education amid the COVID-19 pandemic. – With Ashzel Hachero and Noel Talacay

    The embassy said the US Agency for International Development will provide Filipino teachers with instructional strategies and learning materials designed for school and home environments.

    The embassy said more than 27 million children and youth are at risk of significant learning loss due to school closures and disruptions brought by the pandemic.