PH cases breach 200K mark

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    MORE than 5,000 new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases was reported by the Department of Health yesterday, with the total number of cases breaching the 200,000 mark going into the last five days of August.

    In its latest bulletin, the DOH said of the 5,277 new cases, 3,157 came from the National Capital Region (NCR), followed by Laguna (403), Negros Occidental (304), Rizal (237), and Cavite (228).

    Overall, the total number of cases rose to 202,361, with 99 more deaths reported, raising the number of fatalities to 3,137.

    Majority of the new deaths were also recorded in NCR with 61. Other deaths were reported from Calabarzon (14), Central Luzon (12), Central Visayas (6), Western Visayas (2), Unknown (1), Cagayan Valley (1), Northern Mindanao (1), and Cordillera Administrative Region (1).

    The DOH said there were 1,131 new recoveries, raising the number of survivors to 133,460.

    A research team from the University of the Philippines had said there could be as much as 250,000 COVID-19 cases in the Philippines by the end of August based on the current trend.

    With no signs of the curve flattening, the DOH renewed its appeal to the public to practice established minimum health standards, saying the trend in cases depends mainly on the behavior of the public under the “new normal.”

    “What will ultimately determine how well we respond to this pandemic is how well we practice our prescribed minimum public health standards and, how cooperative we are with our government’s strategies,” the agency said.

    For the third straight day, no overseas Filipino was reported to have succumbed to the deadly virus although the number of infections continued to rise with seven new cases, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs.

    The DFA said the number of overseas Filipinos in 73 countries infected with the virus since its outbreak now stands at 10 035, with 6,076 having recovered. The DFA also reported 47 recoveries in Asia and the Pacific and Europe.

    The Middle East remains as the region with the most number of cases and deaths among members of the overseas Filipino community with 6,949 and 461, respectively.

    Europe has 1,163 cases and 95 deaths while the Americas reported 795 cases and 163 deaths. Asia and the Pacific has the least numbers in terms of deaths with eight although the region has confirmed cases of 1,128.

    The remains of 72 overseas Filipino workers from Saudi Arabia are set to be repatriated on Friday, according to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.

    Bello said that of 72, 62 died from COVID-9 while the rest died from other causes.

    “The same respect will be accorded to the arriving OFWs, who lost their lives in the KSA in pursuit of a better future for their families and motherland,” Bello said. “We are ready for their arrival.”

    Of the 72 remains, 40 are from Al Khobar, 17 from Jeddah, and 15 from Riyadh.

    Bello said the remains will arrive via a chartered Philippine Airlines flight at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport at around 9:40 a.m.

    The DOLE has so far repatriated 192 OFW remains from Saudi Arabia.