Coronavirus cases in PH near 69K mark

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    Fallen heroes. A military chaplain sprays holy water on the coffins of overseas Filipino workers that arrived Sunday at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. In all, 88 OFW remains were brought home in two flights, the second batch of what the Labor department termed as repatriated “fallen heroes.” PHOTO BY RHOY COBILLA

    MORE than 1,500 new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases were reported yesterday by the Department of Health (DOH), bringing the total number of cases in the country to 68,898.

    Of the 1,521 new cases reported, majority came from the National Capital Region (1,237). Cavite and Laguna had 51 each, Rizal 34 and Davao del Sur 22.

    Four more deaths were also reported, raising the total number of fatalities to 1,835, while 607 victims more recovered, meaning 23,072 have survived the deadly disease.

    Globally, as of July 19, there were 14,043,176 confirmed cases, including 597,583 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

    Meanwhile, a day after reporting that no overseas Filipino was infected or have died due to COVID-19, the Department of Foreign Affairs said 135 more were added to the list of confirmed cases while 10 more have succumbed to the deadly virus.

    The total number of overseas Filipinos infected with the virus since its outbreak has reached 9,136 in 67 countries (two more countries in Africa were added to the list) while the death toll now stands at 644.

    The DFA said 39 more have recovered from the virus, bringing the recoveries to 5,360.

    The Middle East/Africa remained as the region with the highest cases and fatalities among Filipinos with 6,605 cases and 374 deaths, respectively, while Europe registered 1,074 cases and 95 deaths while the Americas reported 698 cases and 169 deaths.

    The Asia-Pacific region reported 759 cases and six deaths.

    Quezon City Mayor Ma. Josefina “Joy” Belmonte has recovered from COVID-19 and reported for work yesterday.

    In a statement, Belmonte said she was given a clearance by the City Health Department after she tested negative in a rapid test last Sunday.

    Belmonte, 50, tested positive last July 5, reportedly having been exposed to infected individuals she visited in hospitals. After learning she was infected with the virus, Belmonte underwent a 14-day quarantine as required by the Department of Health. She said she was asymptomatic.

    COVID-19 cases in the city stood at 5,222 as of Sunday, July 19, of which 2,114 are active cases while 2,740 have recovered against 267 deaths.

    Elmo San Diego, head of the city’s Department of Public Order and Safety, said they have apprehended more than 15,000 individuals for not wearing face masks.

    Violators were fined P1,000 for the first offense. They face a P3,000 fine for a second offense and P5,000 for a third.

    The Philippine Coast Guard said 52 more of its personnel have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing to 365 the number of PCG members who have been infected with the disease.

    PCG Commandant Vice Adm. George Ursabia said the growing number of PCG personnel afflicted with the virus would not dampen their resolve in supporting the government’s fight against the spread of the virus.

    “At this time, we cannot afford to totally pull out to rest and recuperate,” Ursabia said. “We will have to hold the line and do whatever it takes to render service, even if it entails the ultimate sacrifice for that is what we swore to when we took our oath. They are no longer just words uttered as a matter of formalities, but a commitment to the nation,” he added.

    The PCG is playing a key role in the implementation of community quarantine protocols throughout the country and is also helping in the management of repatriated Overseas Filipino Workers and transport of locally-stranded individuals.

    The PCG also reported that 26 personnel have recovered from the disease, raising the number of PCG men who made full recovery 109. There are no reported deaths so far in the PCG due to the virus.

    The Professional Regulation Commission temporarily shut down its offices at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City starting yesterday after six of its employees tested positive for COVID-19. The shutdown ends on July 24.

    The six employees are currently under strict home quarantine, the PRC said. Persons who have been exposed to the six are still awaiting the results of their swab tests and are also under home quarantine.

    The PRC said it will implement a work-from-home arrangement and shall address concerns and queries sent through their email address https://www.prc.gov.ph/public-assistance. – With Ashzel Hachero, Raymond Africa, and Victor Reyes