THE Department of Health reported 339 new coronavirus infections on Thursday, bringing the total to 10,343.
The death toll climbed to 685 after 27 more patients died, it said in a bulletin. One hundred twelve more patients have gotten well, bringing the total recoveries to 1,618, it added.
Of the 339 new cases, 61% or 1205 were from Central Visayas, almost a third or 110 were from Metro Manila and 7% or 24 came from other regions, DoH said.
The agency said 1,886 health workers have been infected, 403 of whom recovered and 24 died.
DoH said 130,990 people have been tested — 13,379 were positive and 117,332 were negative. Positive cases were more than the confirmed cases because these still had to be validated, it added.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire said the country has a coronavirus death rate of 6.6%.
“We are seeing a large decrease and slowdown in the new cases and deaths,” she said, citing the Luzon-wide lockdown that started on March 17.
Katherine Reyes, associate dean for research of the University of the Philippines-Manila College of Public Health, said people would have to “live with the virus” until a vaccine is developed. People should take care of themselves by practicing personal hygiene, she added.
In a separate statement, the Health department said the government had taken delivery of seven metric tons of personal protective equipment and other medical supplies from the United Arab Emirates.
The virus has sickened 3.8 million and killed more than 265,000 people worldwide, according to the Worldometers website, citing various sources including data from the World Health Organization.
About 1.3 million people have recovered from the disease, it said. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas