The Philippines’ active coronavirus cases hit more than 158,000 after the country logged a record-high number of infections on Friday.

This as a group of medical professionals said that lockdowns would only work if they were enforced for a long period of time and calling instead for more permanent solutions to the ongoing pandemic.

The country recorded 20,310 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of cases since the pandemic started last year to 2,040,568, the Department of Health (DoH) said in its case bulletin for Sept. 3.

The country’s death toll rose to 33,873 after 193 more patients died, while recoveries increased by 7,710 to 1.85 million, the agency said.

There were 158,994 active cases, 96.5% of which were mild, 1.1% were asymptomatic, 1% were severe, 0.92% were moderate, and 0.5% were critical.

The DoH said 226 duplicates were removed from the tally, 219 of which were recoveries. It added that 84 recoveries were reclassified as deaths. Six laboratories did not submit data on Sept. 1.

The country is battling a fresh spike in coronavirus infections believed to be triggered by the highly contagious Delta variant.


The government has failed to implement long-term solutions to address the country’s coronavirus situation more than a year since the pandemic hit the country, a group of medical professionals said.

Aileen Espina of the Healthcare Professionals Alliance Against COVID-19 (HPAAC) told a virtual media briefing that the government’s coronavirus data conflicts with what is happening on the ground.

Ms. Espina also cited the government’s lack of political will to create new strategies to contain the evolving coronavirus.

HPAAC said the government must come up with permanent solutions to address the country’s coronavirus situation, noting that lockdowns would only work if they were enforced for a long period of time.

“We need to realize that these lockdowns are just band-aid solutions,” Maria Encarnita Limpin of the HPAAC said at the same briefing. “The effects of lockdowns are just for short-term. What we need are permanent solutions,” she said.

“We will just have a seesaw battle if we will just resort to lockdowns,” Ms. Limpin added.

The discussion on the country’s pandemic recovery should not be centered on whether or not the country needs more lockdowns, said Antonio L. Dans, the group’s spokesperson.

“The question should be centered on whether we are ready for the reopening of the economy,” the medical doctor said at the same briefing. “Did our situation improve? What are the improvements after the lockdowns?”

“We should learn how to live with the virus without getting infected,” Mr. Dans added. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza