MANILA, Aug 21 (Mabuhay) — The Philippines now has 178,022 cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) after the Department of Health (DOH) announced 4,339 new infections on Thursday, marking the third straight day in which more than 4,000 new cases were reported.

Metro Manila, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, still logged the highest number of new cases at 2,590, followed by Laguna with 223, Cavite with 155, Cebu with 128, and Rizal with 109.

Among the newly reported infections, 3,213 or 74 percent contracted COVID-19 in the past 14 days. Total recoveries rose to 114,114 after 727 more patients recovered from the respiratory illness.

The death toll also climbed to 2,883 with 88 new fatalities, 40 of whom died in August, 27 in July, 19 in June, and two in May.

The remaining 61,025 are active cases undergoing treatment or quarantine, 91.3 percent of which are mild, 6.6 percent are asymptomatic, 0.9 percent are severe, and 1.2 percent are in critical condition.

The DOH said figures reported on Thursday were based on data submitted by 100 out of the 109 operational laboratories.

Ninety-one duplicate cases were also removed from the total tally of infections.

As of August 19, the Philippines had 109 licensed laboratories that had tested over 2 million individuals, while 47 percent of intensive care unit beds for COVID-19 patients nationwide were occupied and 31 percent of mechanical ventilators were in use.

Experts earlier projected that infections would spike to 250,000 by the end of August following the government’s easing of quarantine restrictions.

Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Thursday said 14 more Filipinos test positive for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) abroad, raising the overall tally to 9,973.

It also registered one new recovery and zero fatality, increasing and maintaining the total to 5,869 and 733, respectively.

To date, there are 3,371 active cases among Filipinos overseas, 361 are undergoing treatment in the Asia Pacific, 501 in Europe, 2,350 in the Middle East/Africa, and 159 in the Americas.

“The DFA shall continue to keep track of the status of Filipinos abroad and stands ready to assist and facilitate repatriations, whenever possible,” it said in a statement.

The agency has repatriated more than 141,531 overseas Filipinos since the pandemic began, 87,569 of whom are land-based workers while 53,962 are seafarers who were mostly affected by the sailing suspension of several cruise lines abroad.

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Sarah Lou Arriola said the DFA is expecting more repatriates in the coming days from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, the United States, Japan, and Papua New Guinea. (MNS)

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