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COVID-19 Philippines: COVID-19 death toll passes 500

The Philippines has recorded a grim milestone as it tops the 500 mark death toll – continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Department of Health confirmed seven more COVID-19 fatalities, making the death toll in the country surpass the 500 death toll mark. The Philippines has recorded 285 new COVID-19 cases, bringing a total of 7,579 confirmed cases on Sunday (April 26), including 862 recoveries.

On Friday (April 24), President Rodrigo Duterte announced the extension of ECQ to some of the high-risk provinces in the country until May 15. Those provinces are the ones who have recorded most cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines.

The country reported its first COVID-19 patient back in January. With the continuous spread of the virus, the Philippines then imposed a Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine. President Duterte’s ECQ extension is due to the growing number of infections and deaths, as the country continues to battle COVID-19.

Most of the new cases were recorded in Manila City, Quezon City, Mandaluyong City and Parañaque, Central Visayas and Metro Manila. Calabarzon also listed 41 new cases.

Previously, the Department of Health reported the lowest daily increase in new cases on Friday, April 24, with 102 patients. But the Health ministry admitted that it is still early to say that the country has ‘flattened the curve’ of the disease.

Data from DOH also shows that 17 albs can handle a maximum of 6,170 tests daily as of Friday.  DOH also said that 19 labs are now conducting COVID-19 tests. The company explains that it takes 13 days or more for a patient to fully recover from COVID-19. DOH aims to lower the fatality toll in the country while increasing the daily testing capacity of labs to 8,000 tests daily.