Philippines logs 2,240 new COVID-19 cases, 239 more deaths

Manila [Philippines], February 20 (ANI/Xinhua): The Department of Health (DOH) of the Philippines reported on Saturday 2,240 new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 559,288.

February 20, 2021

World

3 min

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Manila [Philippines], February 20 (ANI/Xinhua): The Department of Health (DOH) of the Philippines reported on Saturday 2,240 new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 559,288.
The death toll climbed to 12,068 after 239 more patients died from the viral disease, the DOH said. Saturday’s reported daily death is the highest since September 14 last year, which stood at 259.
It added that 504 more patients recovered, raising the total number of recoveries to 513,120.
The Philippines, which has about 110 million population, has tested nearly eight million people since the disease emerged in January last year.
The DOH called on local government units to step up and intensify surveillance efforts to prevent transmission, should the government ease further the quarantine measures next month.
“The local government must come up with a response such as better surveillance so that they can appropriately manage if ever and control the number of cases. That is our safeguard,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told a televised press conference on Saturday.
Vergeire made the statement amid plans to place the country under the lowest quarantine level starting March 1 to rev up the pandemic-hit economy.
Vergeire said it is about time the Philippines reopens the economy after the coronavirus shut down in mid-March last year to curb the coronavirus spread.
“It’s the direction of government. We have been under strict lockdown for a year now, and we have to look at the other side of the fence, and that is our economy,” Vergeire said, stressing the need to balance the economy and health, citing the health consequences of having a low economy.
While the lockdown measures have slowed community transmission, the imposition of strict lockdown rules resulted in significant adverse impacts on family incomes, jobs, education of children, food security, and businesses.
The Philippine economy shrank 9.5 per cent in 2020, the lowest gross domestic product since 1946.
Vergeire urged Filipinos to continue wearing face covering, keeping physical distance, and avoiding crowded and enclosed places to prevent transmission as the economy gradually opens. (ANI/Xinhua)

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