(SPOT.ph) With mass testing finally implemented in the Philippines, our COVID-19 statistics also continue to go up. On April 19, the Department of Health confirmed that there are 12 COVID-19 patients that have died, bringing the total number of fatalities to 409. There are 172 new cases, which brings the total of COVID-19 positive cases to 6,259. The health agency confirmed the recovery of 56 patients, which brings the latest tally to 572.
On April 11, the Department of Health announced a shift in the classification of people who may or may not be infected with the coronavirus. The new terms are: "suspect," which is for patients with influenza-like illness and immunocompromised individuals with respiratory symptoms; "probable," which is for those who are classified as "suspect" but have yet to get tested or are still waiting for their test results; and "confirmed." The terms "patients under investigation" and "patients under monitoring," with the latter given to asymptomatic patients who have come in contact with an infected individual, have been dropped and will not be tested.
But in Valenzuela City, Mayor Rex Gatchalian continues to have asymptomatic patients tested, and this yielded surprising positive results. "By not testing [patients under monitoring] are we not in danger of releasing potential carriers into the community that may lead to contagion?" he said in a post.
On April 17, a whole sitio in Cebu City—Sitio Zapatera in Barangay La Luz—was placed under quarantine after they registered 82 positive cases.
Main photo from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention