Covid-19: PH sees 76 new cases, loses 8 more patients

SEVENTY-SIX new coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases were reported by the Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday, April 4, bringing the country’s total to nearly 3,100.

Based on the latest Covid-19 Case Bulletin, the DOH said the total number of cases in the country is now at 3,094.

“As of 4 p.m. today, the Department of Health reports 76 new cases (PH3,019-PH3,094) of COVID-19,” said the DOH.

Similarly, the DOH reported 8 new deaths among COVID-19 patients.

“This brings the total number of deaths to 144,” said the DOH.

On the other hand, the health department announced five new recoveries among COVID-19 patients.

“This brings the total number of recoveries to 57,” said the DOH.

Testing capacity

And with the planned mass testing nearing, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire assured that the country has enough testing capacity for the said undertaking.

In a press briefing, Vergeire said they are confident that come April 14, they can already conduct some 3,000 laboratory tests for suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients.

“And by the end of April, our goal is to be able to test 8,000 to 10,000 per day,” said Vergeire.

At present, the health official said they are testing some 900 to 1,200 samples per day through the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine and other sub-national laboratories.

Earlier, Chief Implementer of the National Action Policy against Covid -19 Carlito Galvez said the government is looking to start mass testing for COVID-19 on April 14.

In a related development, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved the use of the testing kit developed by the University of the Philippines-National Institute of Health (UP-NIH).

Based on FDA Advisory No. 2020-513, approved for commercial use is the Real-Time PCR for the detection of Covid-19 manufactured by the Manila HealthTek, Inc.

“This is the first locally made PCR based Covid-19 test kit approved by the FDA,” said FDA.

The said test kit was approved by the FDA for field trial with gene sequencing back in March 10.

Combining PCR-based and rapid test kits, there are now a total of 30 FDA-approved Covid-19 test kits in the country.

Chinese experts

Meanwhile, Vergeire said 12 Chinese health experts are set to arrive in the country Sunday. April 5.

She said the team of 12 will be composed of doctors and nurses from China.

“They will be observing and providing recommendations on how we can improve our infection prevention and control, critical care, and laboratory,” said Vergeire.

Part of their itinerary are visits to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, San Lazaro Hospital, and Lung Center of the Philippines.

Vergeire said the Chinese experts will be in the country until April 19. (SunStar Philippines)