FIFTEEN more deaths were reported by the Department of Health yesterday as the total number of fatalities moved within the cusp of breaking the 5,000 mark while 3,475 more new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases brought to 290,190 the total number of infections in the country.
Of the new cases, majority came from the National Capital Region (NCR) with 1,543. Also reporting high number of cases were Batangas (194), Rizal (192), Cavite (166), and Cebu (165).
The number of fatalities rose to 4,999, with nine more deaths reported from NCR. The other deaths were reported from Western Visayas (3), CALABARZON (2), and Eastern Visayas (1).
The DOH said there were 400 more recoveries, meaning the number of survivors has risen to 230,233.
In a virtual press briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the country is seeing an almost real-time number of cases because most of the testing backlogs have been submitted by accredited laboratories nationwide.
“One thing we can tell you is that the laboratories were able to cope with the submissions already. They have already complied with the mandatory fields of our reporting system,” she said. “The cases we are seeing now, we are already assessing them if these are already the real new cases in the country.”
The Department of Foreign Affairs said 21 more overseas Filipinos were infected with the deadly virus, bringing the number to 10,411 to in 78 countries.
The DFA also reported one new fatality for a total of 778 and 25 new recoveries, bringing the total to 6,619.
The Middle East and African regions continued to have the highest numbers of cases and deaths of overseas Filipinos in the regions with 7,068 and 497, respectively, followed by the Asia Pacific region with 1,362 cases, 1,174 in Europe and 807 in the Americas.
The DFA also said travel restrictions imposed by Ukraine, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia are still in effect, but added that Kuala Lumpur has eased the entry of professional and visit pass holders provided they get travel approval from its immigration authorities.
The DFA said the restrictions by Ukraine will last until September 28.
Malaysia imposed restrictions on 23 countries, including the Philippines where there are high cases of COVID-19, last September 7.
Meanwhile, Bureau of Corrections Director General Gerald Bantag yesterday said he has tested positive for COVID-19.
Bantag’s disclosure came two days after BuCor spokesman Gabriel Chaclag also announced he had contracted the virus after undergoing a swab test Tuesday last week.
Bantag said he had a swab test conducted by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicina in Alabang, Muntinlupa last Sunday.
He said his driver and one of his close-in security personnel also tested positive for the virus.
He said he is working remotely from his quarters while as he completes the 14-day mandatory quarantine.
Bantag also called on BuCor personnel who may be experiencing symptoms to report immediately to the bureau’s health service.
The latest figures released by the BuCor showed that 350 of its personnel and inmates have been infected with the virus, with 21 having died, all of them inmates.
The Bureau of Immigration yesterday opened an isolation ward for detained foreigners who might get infected with COVID-19 inside the New Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa.
The facility, according to BI Warden Facility chief Remiecar Caguiron, has a surge capacity for 30 persons but can accommodate as much as 60. – Ashzel Hachero