Covid-19 cases in Philippines soar past 57,000; Govt to buy US military transport planes

  • Philippines
  • Monday, 13 Jul 2020

A "no mask, no entry" reminder for take-away customers and delivery riders is posted outside a restaurant to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease, in Quezon City, Metro Manila. The number of virus cases in the Philippines surged to 57,006 after the country reported 836 new cases on Monday (July 13). - Reuters

MANILA, July 13 (Xinhua): The number of Covid-19 (coronavirus) cases in the Philippines surged to 57,006 after the country's Department of Health (DOH) reported 836 new cases on Monday.

The DOH said that the number of recoveries further rose to 20,371 after 4,325 more patients have survived the disease, which is the largest daily rise in recoveries since the outbreak of the pandemic.

The death toll also increased to 1,599 after 65 more patients have succumbed to the viral disease, the DOH said.

"Eighty-nine duplicates were removed from the total case count after validation," the DOH added.

Guido David, a professor at the University of the Philippines Institute of Mathematics, projected the COVID-19 cases to breach the 80,000 mark by the end of July.

David told the local media that the country's capital region Metro Manila has seen a "genuine surge" in infections in previous days as shown by data.

The Philippine Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that the inter-agency coronavirus task force of the government did not recommend the easing of quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila.

Metro Manila and most part of the Philippines has been on strict lockdown since mid-March, and the lockdown rules were eased on June 1.

The Federal Government also announced its plan to buy two more second-hand Lockheed C-130 "Hercules" transport aircraft from the United States.

Arsenio Andolong, spokesperson for the Department of National Defence, said the acquisition of the two "refurbished" planes, worth 2.5 billion pesos (US$51 million), will boost the heavy lift capability of the Philippine Air Force (PAF).

He said PAF has only two operational C-130 planes in its inventory. The three other C-130 planes are undergoing maintenance, he added.

Andolong stressed the need for more cargo planes to transport humanitarian assistance and disaster relief as the country grapples with an increasing number of coronavirus disease cases.

He said one of the two transport planes is expected to be delivered this month while the second is due for delivery later this year. - Xinhua
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