New cases breach 5K mark anew

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    THE Department of Health reported 5,290 new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases yesterday, the third time in seven days that new cases breached the 5K mark, along with 21 more deaths.

    In its latest bulletin, the DOH said the total number of infections in the country has risen to 640,984 while the death toll rose to 12,887 for a case fatality rate of 2.01 percent.

    There were 439 more recoveries, meaning the number of survivors is up to 561,530. The DOH said this means that 87.6 percent of patients had recovered.

    Active cases surged to 66,567 from 61,733 last Wednesday, of which 93.3 percent are mild cases, 3.7 percent asymptomatic cases, 1.2 percent severe cases, 1.2 percent critical cases, and 0.64 percent moderate cases.

    Thirteen more overseas Filipinos tested positive for the deadly virus, raising to 15,941 the total number in 88 countries, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs.

    The DFA said 9, 649 have recovered, including four new recoveries.

    No new fatality was reported. The death toll among overseas Filipinos stood at 1,044.

    Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra ordered another suspension of work at the DOJ after seven more employees tested positive yesterday.

    Guevarra said the DOH will be closed starting today, Friday, up to Tuesday next week.

    Last Wednesday, DOJ Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay-Villar said 27 DOJ employees have contracted the deadly virus since last year.

    Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, one of the proponents of reopening the economy, yesterday said he tested positive anew for the virus. He first tested positive last December.

    In a text message to reporters, Lopez said he received the result of his test yesterday morning ahead of his departure for Tacloban where he was to join President Duterte in giving livelihood kits to former rebels.

    He said he was asymptomatic, was in self-isolation, and will continue to discharge his duties online. He was to be tested anew yesterday for confirmation.

    Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, who tested positive for the deadly virus last Monday, denied reports circulating in social media that he was quarantined in a “presidential suite” in a luxury hotel in Pasay City.

    Roque, who branded the report as “fake news,” said he was staying at a two-star hotel in Annapolis, San Juan that has been accredited by the government as an isolation facility. – With Jocelyn Montemayor, Ashzel Hachero and Irma Isip