Nearly 20K more recoveries; 60 deaths

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    NEARLY 20,000 more have recovered from the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) but this piece of good news was tempered by the death of 60 more patients yesterday.

    In its latest bulletin, the Department of Health said 19,630 more have recovered from the deadly virus, raising the number of survivors to 252,510.

    But the total number of deaths rose to 5,344 while there were 2,995 new cases, raising the overall number of infections in the country to 304,226, counting the 2,630 cases last Friday and 2,747 cases last Saturday.

    Of the new cases reported, majority came from the National Capital Region (NCR) with 1,065 while Cavite had 297, Bulacan 180, Batangas 157, and Laguna 143.

    Majority of the new deaths were recorded in NCR with 29. Other deaths were reported from CALABARZON (6), Caraga (5), and Northern Mindanao (4).

    The DOH had attributed the high number of recoveries to its “Oplan Recovery,” a program that monitors the status of confirmed COVID-19 cases with mild symptoms and are asymptomatic.

    The “Oplan Recovery” uses the time-based recovery system, where patients who have completed the 14-day isolation period and are cleared by a physician are tagged as having recovered despite not undergoing repeat RT-PCR testing.

    The Department of Foreign Affairs said five more overseas Filipinos were infected with the virus, bringing the number to 10,438 in 78 countries.

    The number of overseas Filipino who succumbed to the virus also increased to 791 after one new fatality Sunday.

    Of the 10,438, the DFA said 6, 654 have recovered from the virus.

    Per region, the Middle East and Africa led in terms of cases and deaths among overseas Filipinos with 7,079 and 510, respectively, followed by the Asia Pacific with 1,372 cases, Europe with 1, 179 and 808 in the Americas.

    Though it has the least number of cases, the Americas came in behind the Middle East and Africa in terms of deaths among overseas Filipinos with 178 compared to 95 in Europe and 8 in the Asia Pacific.

    A former adviser of the National Task Force on COVID-19 urged the government to withhold plans to further ease community quarantines.

    In a radio interview, Dr Tony Leachon said it would be better if the National Capital Region (NCR) remained under general community quarantine (GCQ) until the end of October.

    “For me, it would be better if we will still be under GCQ for one more month, October 1 until October 31,” said Leachon, adding this is in order for the country to be able to better celebrate the Christmas Season.

    “It would be better if we control the merrymaking of people now so that, come the holiday season, we would have a ‘sandbag’ if we are able to further lower the number of cases.

    This is to pave the way for a very nice Christmas,” he added.

    Doing otherwise, he said, may result in the country seeing another surge in cases by Christmas.

    “If it would be eased now, by permitting socioeconomic activities, as well as, knowing the culture of Filipinos, they will really come out if there is an occasion, we might see a surge up to the Christmas Season,” he said. – With Ashzel Hachero

    The Health Professionals Alliance Against COVID-19 (HPAAC) earlier asked the government to take it slow in further relaxing the community lockdown.