The country’s new confirmed COVID-19 cases almost doubled to 1,046 on Friday from Thursday’s 539, setting a new record for the highest single-day surge since the pandemic began, and bringing the total number of cases to 16,893.
READ: PH records highest single-day surge in COVID-19 cases
However, the Department of Health said only 46 cases or less than 5 percent of the total number of new cases were “fresh cases” – a new term used by the DOH as it decided yesterday to change its reporting method on confirmed virus infections.
“Starting today (Friday), we will change the way we report our cases. We will now divide the number to show which as fresh or newly-validated cases and which are late or delayed,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.
She cited as example Thursday’s 539 new cases, of which she said only 109 were “fresh cases” or those confirmed within the past three days, while the bulk were old validated cases that were belatedly added to the tally.
The DOH said that as of Friday, the death toll stood at 942 with 21 new deaths, while 122 more patients recovered, bringing the total number of COVID-19 survivors to 3,720.
Of the total number of cases, only 11,069 are active cases, broken down as follows – 10,240 mild, 54 severe, 24 critical and 751 asymptomatic.
Vergeire acknowledged that Thursday’s figure may have frightened the public as it was released hours before President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the shift to more relaxed general community quarantine for Metro Manila and other provinces previously under a modified lockdown.
READ: ‘Quarantine eased in June’
“We know that the technical aspect of the numbers that we release may lead to misunderstanding and may cause fear that we might return to an Enhanced Community Quarantine,” she added.
Of the 539 cases posted Thursday, the National Capital Region accounted for 61 percent or 330 cases.
The DOH earlier attributed the sudden spike in the number of new cases to the results from the swab tests on repatriated overseas Filipino workers, calling it an “artificial rise.” However, repatriated OFWs only accounted for about 10 percent or 55 cases out of Thursday’s total number.
Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs said 24 more OFWs were infected, placing the total tally of COVID-19 cases among overseas Filipino nationals at 2,845.
As of Friday, some 1,558 Filipino patients abroad were undergoing treatment for COVID-19, broken down as follows by region: 139 in the Asia Pacific Region, 467 in Europe, 682 in the Middle East and Africa and 270 in the Americas.
READ: DOH: Metro accounts for 61 percent