AFTER record highs in cases, recoveries, and deaths the past two days, the Department of Health (DOH) yesterday reported 634 new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases, raising the total number of cases in the country to 57,545.
Six more deaths were reported, meaning the deadly virus has claimed 1,603 since last March, while there were 88 more recoveries, raising the number of patients who have survived the deadly disease to 20,459.
Globally, as of July 13, the World Health Organization said there were 12,855,007 confirmed cases, including 567,904 deaths.
Last Monday, the DOH reported a new high of 4,325 recoveries as against 227 deaths and 836 new cases.
In another bit of good news, the Department of Foreign Affairs said only three new cases of COVID-19 were recorded among overseas Filipinos and no new deaths, plus one recovery.
The DFA said the number of overseas Filipinos with COVID-19 now stands at 8,872 in 64 countries and 5, 277 recoveries while 2,977 are still undergoing treatment.
Per regions, the DFA said there were 6,431 cases and 349 deaths in the Middle East, 1,054 cases and 95 deaths in Europe, followed by the Americas with 699 cases and 169 deaths.
In the Asia-Pacific region, the DFA reported 688 cases and five fatalities.
Defense Secretary and National Task Force Against COVID-19 chairman Delfin Lorenzana and Armed Forces chief Felimon Santos Jr. went on self quarantine anew after Lorenzana’s senior aide tested positive for the lethal virus.
Lorenzana said Army Col. Rolly Nerona, his Senior Military Assistant, learned about the result of his PCR test on Monday shortly after disembarking from a plane in Jolo, Sulu for a visit of President Duterte. Nerona’s PCR test was done last July 10.
Lorenzana said Nerona was also with him during the commissioning of the Navy’s first missile-capable warship, the BRP Jose Rizal, in Subic, Zambales last Friday.
“He was not in the event with the President in Jolo yesterday as he was in seclusion. He came back with us to Manila yesterday in PPE (personal protective equipment),” Lorenzana said.
Asked whether the President was on the same plane going to and from Sulu, Lorenzana said: “Of course not. The President’s plane is for him, SBG (Senator Bong Go) and security only. We had our own PAF (Philippine Air Force) plane.”
“I was there (in the Jolo event) but never got close to him and I was wearing mask and face shield all the time,” Lorenzana said of the President.
Lorenzana said the other passengers of the military planes that flew him and other personnel to Subic last Friday and Jolo on Monday have been informed of the development.
Santos tested positive for COVID-19 in March but has fully recovered.
“I had myself swabbed this morning and will self quarantine to await the results. I have no symptoms, waiting for results. I just had the swab (test) this morning,” he said.
Lorenzana also went on quarantine in March after getting in close contact with Santos days before the AFP chief tested positive. Lorenzana completed the process without any problem.
A source said Nerona had himself tested for COVID-19 before they flew to Subic last Friday when he felt sick. The source said Nerona earlier had close contact with people who tested positive for the virus.
AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said Santos and other military officials also went on quarantine.
Arevalo said Santos “shall continue to fully discharge his duties and responsibilities” during his quarantine period. Santos is due to reach mandatory retirement on August 4. – With Ashzel Hachero and Victor Reyes