Philippines' confirmed COVID-19 cases exceed 100,000

Philippines' confirmed COVID-19 cases exceed 100,000

FILE PHOTO: Philippines ramps up coronavirus testing
FILE PHOTO: A nurse gets a swab from a man under observation for COVID-19 in a booth set up in a hospital parking lot in Manila, Philippines, Apr 15, 2020. (REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez)

MANILA: The Philippines on Sunday (Aug 2) reported 5,032 additional coronavirus infections, its largest single-day increase so far, taking the country's confirmed cases to 103,185.

In a bulletin, the Department of Health also said the Southeast Asian country's coronavirus death toll had jumped by 20 to 2,059.

President Rodrigo Duterte was scheduled to meet key cabinet members on Sunday to discuss a call by medical frontliners' groups to put the capital Manila, which accounts for the bulk of infections, back under a stricter lockdown, his spokesman said.

Earlier on Sunday, the Philippines' health department vowed to update its game plan against COVID-19 within a week and sought to beef up the healthcare workforce in the capital Manila, where medical frontliners are calling for reviving strict lockdowns.

READ: 'Losing battle': Philippine doctors, nurses urge new COVID-19 lockdowns

It has appealed to healthcare workers in the provinces and those returning from abroad to help beef up the frontline workforce in the capital, and sought help from universities and medical groups in hiring more doctors, nurses and other medical staff.

On Saturday, 80 groups representing 80,000 doctors and a million nurses said the Philippines was losing the fight against the disease, and warned of a collapse of the healthcare system from soaring infections without tighter controls.

The government appears reluctant to revive strict curbs on movement in the capital, saying there are other ways to control the spread of the disease.

Still, the health department said it supports the healthcare workers' call for a "timeout" and would "proactively lead the implementation of effective localised lockdowns".

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Source: Reuters/lk

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