Latest count of 85,486 surpasses UP projection

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    Mayor Isko Moreno at the Manila walk-in COVID testing center. (Photo by Rhoy Cobilla)

    THE Department of Health reported 1,874 new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases on Wednesday, raising the overall tally to 85,486 which surpassed the projection made University of the Philippines experts that the number of cases would reach 85,000 by the end of July.

    Of the new cases reported, majority came from the National Capital Region (NCR) with 728, followed by Cebu (325), Laguna (130), Iloilo (67), and Rizal (53).

    The DOH also reported 16 new deaths, raising the total number of fatalities to 1,962. Metro Manila had six new deaths, Central Luzon 3, Central Visayas 3, CALABARZON 2, MIMAROPA 1, and Davao Region 1.

    Of the 16 deaths, six (38%) happened in July, six (38%) in June, three (19%) in May, and one (6%) in March.

    The DOH said there were 388 new recoveries, meaning the total number of survivors is up to 26,996.

    The UP team had projected 40,000 cases by the end of June but only 36,438 were eventually recorded, prompting presidential spokesman Harry Roque to declare, happily, that the country had beaten the UP projection, in the process earning the ire of netizens.

    Globally, as of July 28, there were 16,341,920 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 650,805 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

    At the House, Secretary General Joel Montales on Tuesday night announced that a member of the security staff tested positive for COVID-19 along with two members of the housekeeping staff of Rep. Johnny Pimentel who had also earlier tested positive for the virus.

    “We have confirmed that a member of our security staff tested positive for COVID-19,” Montales said in a statement.

    He said the security officer underwent swab testing last Sunday and has been on home isolation, as part of the protocols for last Monday’s State of the Nation Address.

    Montales said the driver of Pimentel and two members of the housekeeping staff also tested positive and followed the same protocols while contact tracing is ongoing.

    On Tuesday, the Batasan’s media center, the office being used by journalists covering the House, was temporarily closed down for disinfection after it was reported earlier that some members of Radio-TV Malacañang tested positive for the virus last Monday.

    The Department of Foreign Affairs said 87 more overseas Filipino workers have been infected with the virus while 11 more have died.

    Overall, the number of overseas Filipinos infected with the virus since its outbreak now stands at 9,392, up from Tuesday’s 9,305, while the death toll has reached 666, from the other day’s 655.

    The DFA said there were 35 new recoveries, bringing the number of survivors to 5,461.

    Among the regions, the Middle East/Africa reported 6,690 cases and 394 deaths, respectively, though most of these came from the Middle East.

    Europe reported 1,103 cases and 95 deaths while the Americas registered 705 cases and 171 deaths. The Asia-Pacific region reported 894 cases and six deaths. – With Ashzel Hachero

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