PH Covid-19 death toll rises to 54; total cases at 803

THE number of patients who succumbed to coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the Philippines has increased to 54, with nine deaths reported Friday, March 27, 2020.

The Department of Health (DOH) also announced 96 new cases of Covid-19, bringing the total to 803, as of 4 p.m. Friday.

The number of those who recovered from the illness caused by the new coronavirus is now 31, with three new recoveries, said DOH Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

The three new recoveries include Patient (PH) 4, a 48-year-old Filipino male from Taguig City with travel history from Japan and who was discharged on March 19; PH66, a 25-year-old Filipino male from Pasig City with no travel history but with exposure to known Covid-19 cases and who was discharged on March 25; and PH42, a 51-year-old Filipino male from Pasig City with travel history from Japan and who was discharged on March 26.

Those who died were PH366, a 63-year-old Filipino male from Muntinlupa City; PH637, a 75-year-old Filipino male from Quezon City; PH571, a 72-year-old Filipino female from Muntinlupa City; PH178, a 74-year-old Filipino male from Manila; PH389, a 71-year-old Filipino female from Quezon City; PH462, a 83-year-old Filipino female from Cavite; PH437, a 57-year-old Filipino male from Manila; PH401, a 62-year-old Filipino male from Manila; and PH306, a 67-year-old Filipino female from Quezon City.

All of the nine fatalities were hypertensive, DOH data showed.

Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire confirmed that another DOH official had tested positive for Covid-19. While not revealing the identity, Vergeire said the official is suffering from mild symptoms but is in stable condition.

"We just want to confirm that one DOH official tested positive and has mild symptoms of Covid-19," she said in a press briefing.

"The official is being provided appropriate medical care and is in stable condition," Vergeire added. Earlier, the DOH also reported that a director in its central office has tested positive for Covid-19.

Vergeire said the number of positive cases continues to increase because of the country's expanded laboratory capacity and the number of testing kits now available.

"Wag po nating ikagulat ang patuloy na pagtaas ng bilang ng mga Covid-19 positive cases. Buhat po ito ng pagdami ng ating mga nasusuri dahil nag-expand na po at nag-extend ang laboratory capacity natin at meron po tayong sufficient testing kits," she said.

She urged the public to follow guidelines set by the department and local government units to prevent the spread of the virus.

The new coronavirus, which was first reported in China in December 2019, has so far infected 465,915 people globally, according to World Health Organization. As of March 27, a total of 21,031 deaths have been reported, while 200 countries have been affected. (LMY/HDT/SunStar Philippines)