Philippines: Covid-19 cases surges to almost 69,000 as stock market recoup losses

MANILA, July 20 (Xinhua): The number of Covid-19 cases in the Philippines surged to 68,898 after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 1,521 new cases on Monday.

The DOH said that the number of recoveries further rose to 23,072 after 607 more patients have survived the disease, and the death toll also increased to 1,835 after four more deaths.

Metro Manila continued to record the highest number of infections, with 1,237 new cases reported on Monday.

Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) spokesperson Gabriel Chaclag on Monday said 19 of the 343 prisoners who tested positive for Covid-19 in New Bilibid Prison have succumbed to the disease.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Monday reminded the jail authorities to strictly implement the health protocols such as health screening and contact tracing to prevent the spread of the virus.

She stressed the need to isolate inmates that are in critical condition to prevent further transmission, especially in crowded jail facilities.

The DOH attributed the increase in cases to community transmission in areas with poor compliance of minimum health standards and an increase of testings.

The decrease in case fatality rate is attributed to the "overall improvement in healthcare system particularly patient management," the DOH added.

Elsewhere, Philippine stocks recouped some recent losses to rise 1%, while investors looked for cues from Europe and the United States on further fiscal stimulus to counteract the effects of the pandemic.

Philippines stocks were among the best performing financial markets in South-East Asia on Monday as regional giants Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand suffered losses. - Xinhua
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