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Coronavirus infections near 53,000

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PHILSTAR/MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

The Department of Health (DoH) reported 1,233 new coronavirus infections on Friday, bringing the total to 52,914.

The death toll rose to 1,360 after 42 more patients died, while recoveries rose by 286 to 13,230, it said in a bulletin.

Of the new cases, 848 were reported in the past three days, while 385 were reported late.

DoH Director Beverly Lorraine Ho told an online news briefing 57% of the deaths were aged 60 years old and above.

She said they expect more patients to recover from the virus as local governments submit their data by Monday.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire traced the spike of cases to increased testing and community transmissions due to lax health standards.

She said there were about 50,000 contact tracers, half of the government’s 100,000 requirement.

Meanwhile, seven more employees of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) have been infected with the novel coronavirus, the agency said in a statement on Friday.

As of July 8, 640 workers have been tested, with 629 of them testing negative for the virus, it said.

The agency said three of its workers had recovered and no one had died.

Irrigation Administrator Ricardo R. Visaya urged all employees to practice precautions to lessen the spread of the virus.

The agency was locked down on July 1 so it could disinfect facilities and install office protective coverings.

All workers excluding essential personnel were placed under a 14-day quarantine while adopting a work from home scheme.

Employees had been given face shields, face masks, hygiene kits and multivitamins, while every office was given a germicidal UV light.

Also on Friday, the palace said the government would strengthen screening and surveillance activities in ports.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry L. Roque told a separate news briefing the state would employ more civilians for contact tracing and swabbing.

Subic Freeport and other ports will be designated as hubs for international crew change, provided that strict health protocols and guidelines were observed.

A one-stop-shop will be created under the Department of Transportation for the processing of arrivals at all gateways. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas, Charmaine A. Tadalan and Revin Mikhael D. Ochave





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