By Vann Marlo M. Villegas, Reporter
THE Department of Health reported 262 new coronavirus infections on Monday, bringing the total to 9,485.
The death toll climbed to 623 after 16 more patients died, it said in a bulletin. One hundred one more patients have gotten well, bringing the total recoveries to 1,315, it added.
Of the 262 new cases, 47% or 122 were from Metro Manila, a third or 88 were from Central Visayas and a fifth or 52 came from other regions, DoH said.
The agency said 1,772 health workers have been infected, 319 of whom survived while 34 died.
DoH said 113,574 people have been tested — 11,917 were positive, while 101,416 were negative.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire told a news briefing DoH was working with the Department of Transportation and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority to set up four swabbing centers in Metro Manila and Bulacan.
The designated swabbing centers are the Philippine Arena in Bulacan, Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Enderun Tent in Taguig City and Palacio de Manila tent along Roxas Boulevard.
These swabbing centers will increase daily testing capacity by 5,000 when they open next week, Ms. Vergeire said.
Additional lab encoders were also hired to speed up the release of test results and reach the target of 30,000 tests daily, she said.
There were now 22 licensed testing laboratories, while 75 have applied for certification.
Ms. Vergeire said the government has set up isolation facilities in jails — a 48-bed facility at the Quezon City Jail, a 40-bed facility at the New San Fernando District Jail and an 80-bed facility at the district jails in Pagbilao and Lucena City in Quezon province.
She said 373 inmates and workers at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology have been tested.
At least 195 inmates and 38 jail employees have tested positive for the virus and DoH was coordinating with the Philippine Red Cross to treat the patients.
Ms. Vergeire earlier said they were planning to start targeted testing in detention facilities.
The Bureau of Corrections earlier said there were 50 confirmed cases at the Correctional Institute of Women in Mandaluyong City and the national penitentiary in Muntinlupa City.
Three of them have died — two from the women’s prison and the first and only case at the New Bilibid Prison.
Nine inmates and nine workers at the Quezon City jail have tested positive for COVID-19, while more than 300 inmates at the Cebu City Jail were infected.