The death toll due to COVID-19 in the Philippines nears 300 as the country reported Sunday a spike in fatalities.
The Health Department reported 50 new deaths due to COVID-19 in its 4 p.m. bulletin on Sunday, bringing the death toll to 297.
The department reported 220 new cases of the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, bringing the total number of those who have been infected to 4,648.
Meanwhile, the number of people who have recovered from the viral disease has reached 197, with the Health Department reporting 40 more who have survived COVID-19.
No other details were provided on the new fatalities but previous data releases by the DOH showed some of the deaths occurred days before the information was disclosed.
The DOH earlier explained that its report on recoveries only covers patients confined in hospitals. It stressed that there may be more patients with mild or no symptoms who have recovered from the COVID-19 while under home quarantine.
The Health Department is currently clearing its encoding backlog and promised to provide a “more accurate picture” of the COVID-19 situation in the country by Monday.
Have we flattened the curve?
Since April 4, the country has recorded less than 300 new cases daily, except on April 6 when it recorded 414 new cases.
Health officials, however, have said that it is still too early to say that the Philippines has flattened the curve three weeks into the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon and other areas in the country which have imposed their own measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.
COVID-19 cases worldwide
Worldwide, COVID-19 has killed more than 100,000 people, mostly in the United States, although the outbreak began in Wuhan, China in December 2019. More than 1.7 million people have been infected, according to the Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 global tracker.
Eight in ten, or around 80 percent, of infected patients experience “mild illness” and eventually recover from COVID-19, according to the World Health Organization. Some 15 percent experience severe illness while 5 percent become critically ill, the WHO said.
To prevent the spread of the virus, authorities are urging people to practice regular hand washing, cover their mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and avoid close contact with those who exhibit virus symptoms.