MANILA, July 30 (Mabuhay) — The number of Filipinos infected with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) breached the 85,000 mark on Wednesday after the Department of Health (DOH) announced 1,874 new cases, bringing the total to 85,486.

This marks the 15th straight day during which at least 1,300 new infections were recorded.

The five provinces with the highest number of new cases were Metro Manila with 728, Cebu with 325, Laguna with 130, Iloilo with 67, and Rizal with 53.

Total recoveries also rose to 26,996 after 388 more patients recovered from the respiratory disease, while the death toll climbed to 1,962 with 16 new fatalities.

There are also 56,528 active cases undergoing treatment or quarantine, 90.1 percent of which are mild, 9 percent are asymptomatic, 0.5 percent are severe, and 0.4 percent are in critical condition.

The DOH said figures reported on Wednesday were based on data submitted by 83 out of the 91 operational laboratories.

The department also removed 61 duplicate cases from the total tally of infections.

Despite the continued rise in cases, the government’s inter-agency COVID-19 task force earlier approved the partial reopening of clinics offering aesthetic services and cosmetic dentistry, gyms, and internet cafes starting August 1.

Malacañang previously said Metro Manila’s return to a modified enhanced community quarantine was not a “foregone conclusion,” citing an improvement in the case doubling time, even after experts projected over 85,000 cases by July 31.

President Rodrigo Duterte is also expected to announce “major changes” to the country’s coronavirus response on Thursday.

Meanwhile, The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday logged 87 new cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) among overseas Filipinos (OFs), bringing the number to 9,392.

Based on the latest data provided by the agency, out of the 87 new cases 21 were recorded in the Asia Pacific, 12 in Europe, 54 in the Middle East/Africa, and zero in the Americas.

Meanwhile, the DFA recorded 35 additional recoveries and 11 new fatalities, raising the overall tally to 5,461 and 666, respectively.

The active cases stand at 3,265 — 242 are undergoing treatment in the Asia Pacific region, 500 in Europe, 2,400 in the Middle East/Africa, and 123 in the Americas.

“The DFA recognizes that Covid-19 is a global pandemic that affects all nations and all nationalities. It is likewise clear that the measures needed to prevent or minimize possible exposure and infection are also equally applicable around the world,” the DFA said in a statement.

“As part of our nation’s commitment to our global citizens, the DFA will share more information through our Foreign Service Posts about the best health practices espoused by Philippine health authorities with our Filipino communities abroad in order to help reduce the numbers reflected in these infographics,” it added. (MNS)

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