MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday (March 26) reported an additional 71 new cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.
This brings the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines to 707.
Meanwhile, two more patients have recovered, bringing the total to 28.
However, the Department confirmed seven additional deaths, bringing the nationwide death toll to 45.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III in a live broadcast Thursday afternoon also announced that the country has recorded 657 patients under investigation (PUIs) who are confined in hospitals.
The number of persons under monitoring (PUM) or under self-quarantine, on the other hand, is at 6,321.
The DOH is planning to establish community quarantine facilities to accommodate more PUIs and PUMs as a measure to decongest the major hospitals overwhelmed by the surge of COVID-19 patients.
The DOH added that these community quarantine facilities will also house COVID-19 recoveries who need further medical observation.
Among those eyed for community quarantine facilities are schools and evacuation centers.
“Sa ngayon nga po tayo ay nakikipag-usap na sa pamunuan ng Quezon Institute, sa Philippine Red Cross para makapag-umpisa tayo ng isang malaking community quarantine facility kung saan pwede po nating ilagak ang ating mga mino-monitor,” said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.
(As of now, we are coordinating with the management of the Quezon Institute and the Philippine Red Cross to start with the establishment of a big community quarantine facility where we can house patients who need monitoring.)
“Ang layunin po ng ating gobyerno ay para hindi maghalo ang ating mga (The purpose of our government is to separate) severe at critical with mild and asymptomatic and also, of course, to decongest our hospitals,” she added.
Meanwhile, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has signified its offer of more than 100 evacuation centers across the country to be converted into quarantine facilities.
The DOH is now forming the necessary protocols for the operations of the proposed community quarantine facilities. MNP (with inputs from Aiko Miguel)
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