Mon. Mar 1st, 2021
RAPID COVID-19 TEST. Some locally stranded individuals (LSIs) undergo rapid tests for coronavirus disease at the “Hatid Tulong” Program secretariat at the Rizal Memorial Stadium on Saturday (July 25, 2020). The LSIs are subjected to similar tests before being transported to their respective provinces as part of the health and safety protocols. (PNA photo by Joey O. Razon)

MANILA — The Department of Health on Sunday recorded 2,110 new cases of the coronavirus and the country’s count on Covid-19 soared past the 80,000 mark.

It was the fourth straight day PH recorded more than 2k cases bringing the national tally to 80,448.

The DOH said the 2,110 new cases were based on reports from 66 out of 90 testing labs nationwide.

Researchers of the University of the Philippines earlier projected the country would hit 85,000 at the end of July and PH seems to be right on target.

Once again, the bulk of Sunday’s report came from the National Capital Region, considered as epicenter of the country’s outbreak since early March.

Metro Manila had 1,345 cases followed by Cebu (304), Laguna (109), Negros Occidental (66) and Rizal Province, with 40.

NCR is under general community quarantine and has been consistently registering 1,000-plus new cases in last 10 days, or since July 16.

The rising number of cases has resulted to shortage of hospitals beds in the capital region, where the critical care capacity is pegged at 74.9% and is considered to be in the “danger zone” as of Friday, July 24.

The DOH also reported there were 39 new fatalities on Sunday, bringing the death toll to 1,932. Out of the 39 new deaths, 35 accordingly took place in July, while two occurred each in June and April.

Recoveries on the other hand continued to climb after 382 more survivors were listed for a total count of 26,110.

The continued increase in coronavirus cases comes at a time President Rodrigo Duterte is scheduled to deliver his 5th State of the Nation Address on Monday, July 27.

The President is expected to lay down his administration’s pandemic recovery plan and response to the crisis, which has been criticized for its heavily militarized approach.

Stringent health protocols in place for ‘Hatid Tulong’ personnel

Meanwhile, Health protocols are in place for the Hatid Tulong’s technical working group (TWG) as they continue to facilitate and assist locally stranded individuals (LSIs), Presidential Management Staff (PMS) Assistant Secretary Joseph Encabo, lead convenor of the program, said Saturday.

“Every time with our engagement, we subject ourselves with medical checkup, we conduct testing for Covid-19 and we are also subjecting ourselves with quarantine protocols,” he said in an interview.

He said none of the TWG personnel contracted Covid-19 despite some LSIs reportedly testing positive for the virus.

Ensuring the TWG’s health and safety while serving LSIs, Encabo said, is part of the government’s protocols to also protect program beneficiaries against the risks of infection.

“Sana magpatuloy yung ganung klaseng kondisyon namin na habang kami po ay nagseserbisyo ay wala pong magkakasakit sa amin (I hope we can continue with that kind of condition that while we are serving, no one will get sick from us),” he said.

Under the program, Encabo said the LSIs should secure a medical clearance, travel authority and must undergo a rapid test for Covid-19 before being allowed to depart going to their provinces. (PNA)

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