PH COVID-19 tally breaches 356,000 as recoveries jump to over 310,000

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 18) — The Philippines recorded on Sunday a rise of 2,379 in its coronavirus tally, which has reached 356,618, according to the Department of Health.

Of the new infections, 172 are from Quezon City, 147 from Rizal, 136 from Bulacan, 117 from Caloocan City, and 101 from Cavite, the case report showed.

The DOH also said recoveries surged to 310,158, with 14,941 more cleared of the infection. The huge increase is due to the department's weekly release of data from its Oplan Recovery program, which tags a patient as having recovered after spending a certain amount of time in quarantine and upon the loss of symptoms, even without a confirmatory RT-PCR test.

Meanwhile, the death toll hit 6,652, after 50 more died of the illness. Eighteen of this number occurred in October, while 14 in September, 18 in June to August.

Active cases in the country are now at 39,808, which means 11 percent of the nationwide case tally are currently ill.

Fourteen laboratories were not able to submit their case reports on time and were not yet included in the latest count, the DOH noted.

It added that 99 duplicates were removed from the overall tally including 84 recoveries and a death. Eleven cases mistakenly reported as recoveries were also reclassified as deaths after final validation.

Quezon City, the city with the highest number of COVID-19 cases nationwide, reported on Sunday that it has logged a record-high 90 percent recovery rate. This came days after the city tallied its lowest reproduction rate in over a month at 0.67 from Oct. 7 to 13.

Out of the city's 21,543 cases,19,363 have already recovered, according to the local government.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said this development serves "as the ideal sign for further opening up the economy," which will also help more residents recover from the economic impact of the pandemic.

Among Filipinos abroad, the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed another case of the viral disease, which brought the total to 11,149. The number of survivors and fatalities remained unchanged at 7,199 and 812, respectively.

Globally, the coronavirus count is approaching 40 million, including over 1.1 million deaths and more than 27.2 million recoveries, according to data from the US-based Johns Hopkins University.