Sat. Jul 31st, 2021

MANILA – The Department of Health reported Saturday 76 new cases of the coronavirus that padded the national tally of infected persons to 3,094.

Of that number, eight (8) more patients succumbed to the killer disease, bringing the coronavirus death toll in the country to 144.

However, five (5) more patients received a clean bill of health raising the number of discharged patients to 57.

Meanwhile, the National Task Force (NTF) COVID-19, under the leadership of OPAPP Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., announced that there will be “massive” testing of persons under investigation (PUIs) and persons under Monitoring (PUMs) on April 14.

To that effect, the government has already commenced the convertion of large-capacity stadiums and convention halls into quarantine facilities and isolate them there to help contain the spread of the disease.

The Iglesia ni Cristo religious organization also offered its mega-huge Philippine Arena for use as “mega medical facility” in the fight against the virus.

Amid the health crisis, President Rodrigo Duterte was granted special powers to address the pandemic through Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan To Heal As One Act.

Under RA 11469, the President has to report to Congress every Monday of the week for 3 months, unless extended by the legislative branch, about the state of the nation in the fight against the bug.

Meanwhile, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) said it has yet to make its recommendation on the possible lifting or extension of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said on Saturday.

Nograles said the IATF-EID already discussed the expiration of the community quarantine on Wednesday night.

The task force, however, could not decide on the fate of the community quarantine yet because there is still no “conclusive” data about the Covid-19 cases in the country, Nograles said in a virtual press briefing aired on state-run PTV-4.

Nograles said scientists, epidemiologists, doctors, and the academe are still analyzing the available data.

He said the IATF-EID needs to be “very careful” in making a decision on what would be its recommendation to President Rodrigo Duterte. (ia/

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