By the Staff

MANILA – Recoveries in the Philippines from the coronavirus disease posted on Thursday what could be the country’s highest-ever single-day count of 270 since the COVID-19 outbreak began in March.

The newest record of 270 posted on a single day by survivors shoved further their list up to 5,165, a good indication the country is slowly gaining the upper-hand in the battle against the unseen foe.

Patients infected with COVID-19 in the country reached 24,175 after 443 new cases emerged Thursday made up of 253 fresh cases and 190 late cases.

A day before, Wednesday, the country saw 740 additional infections.

Fresh cases refer to patients whose test results came out positive in the last three days, while late cases were patients who tested positive from at least four days and beyond.

There was a sad note however as nine more people died due to the severe respiratory disease which brought to 1,036 the country’s death count.

Cases 40K by June 30

If the country’s current reproduction number at 1.2 stays, the number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) might go up to 40,000 by end of the month an expert from the University of the Philippines (UP) said Thursday.

If the R0, pronounced as R-naught, or the average number of secondary infections from a single case is less than 1, the epidemic curve is flattening, but a number higher than 1 means the virus is spreading.

“Right now, our projection is — we used the R-naught 1.2 — around 40,000 by June 30. We assumed that the R-naught is 1.2 so if it slows down — it’s decreasing actually — the cases would be lesser,” UP Institute of Mathematics Professor Guido David said during the virtual Department of Health press briefing on Thursday.

Based on the data that David presented, the country’s R0 in early April was above 2 and eventually hovered down to around 1. However, by the end of May, it rose again to 2.

“Since then, bumababa na siya ulit and ngayon, currently, nasa around 1.2 siya sa buong Philippines (Since then, it has been slowing down and now it’s around 1.2 in the entire Philippines),” he said, adding that this may be driven by the slight stabilization in the rate of infection.

Ranjit Singh Rye, associate professor at the UP Department of Political Science, warned that the threat of Covid-19 is still present.

“It’s still a significant number that the government must take seriously and (must consider to) design appropriate and timely measures to respond to,” he said.

The UP professor said it was significant for the government to look at this number and “scale up” its strategies for testing, tracing and treatment.

He noted that contact tracing remains the Philippines’ “weakest link” as far as the strategy against the disease is concerned.

“I think the government is responding by hiring more and more personnel. (Meanwhile) on an individual level, we need to improve our strategies for social distancing,” he said.

Respiratory disease

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus that, according to unconfirmed reports, originated in China’s city of Wuhan in Hubei province in late 2019.

The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses named the novel coronavirus as SARS-CoV-2.

The virus causes mild symptoms such as fever and cough for most people but can cause serious illness such as pneumonia for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems.

Coronavirus is one in a family of viruses whose surfaces have a crown-like appearance or corona.

Hence, the viruses are named for the spikes on their surfaces.

Worldwide cases now 7 million

Worldwide cases of the coronavirus have already reached 7,039,918 including 408,025 deaths.

List of countries most affected:    

  1. United States – 2,041,179 cases / 606,819 recoveries / 114,592 deaths
  2. Brazil – 775,184 / 380,300 / 39,797
  3. Russia – 493,657 / 252,783 / 6,358
  4. United Kingdom – 290,143 / no data / 41,128
  5. India – 286,579 / 141,029 / 8,102
  6. Spain -242,280 / 150,376 / 27,136
  7. Italy – 235,763 / 169,939 / 34,114
  8. Peru – 208,823 / 98,031 / 5,903
  9. Germany – 186,510 / 170,671 / 8,845
  10. Iran – 177,938 / 140,590 / 8,506
  11. Turkey – 173,036 / 146,839 / 4,746
  12. France – 155,136 / 71,832 / 29,319
  13. Chile – 148,496 / no data / 2,475
  14. Mexico – 124,301 / 91,412 / 14,649
  15. Pakistan – 119,536 / 38,391 / 2,356
  16. Saudi Arabia – 112,288 / 77,954 / 819