COVID infections set to breach 800K mark

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    DEFIANT. Despite the continued surge in new cases, market goers at the Litex Market in Commonwealth Ave., Quezon City, continue to defy health protocols, especially physical distancing. PHOTO BY ROLLY SALVADOR

    11,028 more cases; 135,526 active cases

    LIKE a rogue train, new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the country showed no signs of slowing down, with 11,028 more infections reported by the Department of Health yesterday and 135,526 active cases that have overwhelmed healthcare, especially in the National Capital Region Plus bubble.

    In its latest bulletin, the DOH reported 41,205 more recoveries, higher than the erstwhile best of 40,397 tallied on August 16, 2020, but this failed to ease overcrowding in hospitals even as the sustained surge in new cases threatened to reach 14,000 by mid-April as predicted by the independent research firm OCTA.

    Overall, the number of infections in the country rose to 795,051, on the verge of breaching the 800K mark, while the death toll stood at 13,425 with two more deaths reported that brought the case fatality rate in the country to 1.69 percent.

    The 14,000 mark was breached last Friday when 15,310 new cases were reported although this included 3,709 cases that were not initially reported due to technical problems that marred the DOH’s monitoring system. Last Saturday, the DOH reported 12,576 new cases.

    As the NCR Plus bubble went into the seven-day extension of the enhanced community quarantine, OCTA fellow Dr. Guido David on Saturday said the reproduction rate of the deadly virus has gone down to 1.65 from a high of 1.96 a week ago.

    “It may go down to 1.33 a week from now and further reduced to 1.09 by April 16,” David said.

    Of the active cases, now the highest in Southeast Asia, 97.4 percent are mild cases, 1 percent are asymptomatic cases, 0.6 percent are severe cases, 0.6 percent are critical cases, and 0.36 percent are moderate cases.

    Just one new case among overseas Filipinos has been reported by the Department of Foreign Affairs, bringing the total to 16, 406.

    No new recoveries or deaths were reported by its 94 embassies and consulates worldwide, the DFA added.

    As of April 3, DFA data showed 1,049 overseas Filipinos have succumbed to the virus – 675 in the Middle East and African regions, 223 in the Americas, 130 in Europe and 21 in the Asia Pacific region.

    The DFA said 10,060 have survived the virus so far.

    Rep. Edgar Erice (LP, Caloocan City) announced yesterday that he and some of his staff have tested positive for the deadly virus.

    “After eight days in quarantine, I have tested positive of COVID. We will have to temporarily close our district office due to the numerous cases among my staff members. I have very mild symptoms so nothing to worry,” he said in a Facebook post. – With Ashzel Hachero and Wendell Vigilia