Philippines enters list of top 20 countries with COVID-19 despite more than 200 days of lockdown

October 2, 2020 - 5:46 PM
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A woman gets a free coronavirus disease (COVID-19) swab testing at a gymnasium in Navotas City, Metro Manila, Philippines, August 7, 2020. (Reuters/Eloisa Lopez)

The Philippines entered the list of top 20 countries with the most infections of the novel coronavirus in the world on the same day that Filipinos marked the 200th day in quarantine.

On October 1, the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center reported that the Philippines’ caseload was 314,079, thus surpassing Pakistan’s figures of 312,806.

The Philippines also has the highest number of individuals with COVID-19 in Southeast Asia after overtaking Indonesia since last August.

At 19th place, Italy’s tally follows closely with 317,861 cases.

The United States, meanwhile, remained the country with the most infections worldwide with more than 7 million cases.

In a tweet on October 2, US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump have also tested positive for COVID-19.

In John Hopkins’ updated list, the top 20 are:

  1. 7,278,385 US
  2. 6,394,068 India
  3. 4,847,092 Brazil
  4. 1,179,634 Russia
  5. 835,339 Colombia
  6. 814,829 Peru
  7. 778,607 Spain
  8. 765,002 Argentina
  9. 748,315 Mexico
  10. 676,084 South Africa
  11. 616,986 France
  12. 464,750 Chile
  13. 462,775 United Kingdom
  14. 461,044 Iran
  15. 367,474 Iraq
  16. 364,987 Bangladesh
  17. 335,097 Saudi Arabia
  18. 320,070 Turkey
  19. 317,409 Italy
  20. 314,079 Philippines

Of the 314,079 cases, the Department of Health reported that 2,415 were additional infections, therefore bringing the total active cases to 54,294.

There were also 254,223 recoveries and 5,523 deaths.

Metro Manila continues to be the epicenter of the outbreak with 164,711 COVID-19 patients, which is followed by the CALABARZON, Central Visayas, Central Luzon and Western Visayas.

The deadly pathogen had also spread across all provinces in the country after Batanes reported its first case last week after almost eight months of being COVID-19-free.

READ: The Philippines in the top 20 countries with most COVID-19 cases despite being more than 200 days in lockdown

In line with these figures, the DOH stated that there seemed to be a downtrend in the number of new patients per day.

ABS-CBN’s data analyst Edson Guido also concurred that the daily positive rate has lowered from 9% to 7.5% for the 12th straight day. He also shared shared graphs of it on Twitter.

Top 20 and 200th day in lockdown

Given the surge of infections despite being in the longest and strictest lockdown in the world, local Twitterverse expressed their frustrations with the Philippines being in the top 20 COVID-19 hot spot through witty comparisons to music chart debuts and beauty pageants.

Others also noted that October 1 was also the 200th day the country has been placed in different stages of quarantine.

President Rodrigo Duterte first placed Luzon under the enhanced community quarantine and declared that the entire Philippines as in a state of calamity last March.

Aika Robredo, daughter of Vice President Leni Robredo, also quipped on Twitter: “Ano panalo na ba?”

How Palace received the new ranking

Palace, meanwhile, highlighted the low critical mortality rate instead of the volume of Filipinos who have gotten sick of the disease.

“Still, look at the critical mortality rate. We’re still at 1.75 which means that although the numbers are up we are able to take care of those who get severely and critically ill,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque told CNN Philippines’ “The Source.”

He also claimed that the death toll in the country is still low compared to other countries.

“What matters most because in a pandemic the fear is that many of us will die. Some are dying, (but) not as many as other countries and, of course, it’s because we have improved our critical care facilities,” Roque said.

In a study last September, the Lancet, a peer-reviewed medical journal, explained that a country is deemed successful in suppressing the epidemic if the number of active cases declines over time.

The country is in suppression of COVID-19 if it has only five or fewer cases per million population per day.

In its list of countries that fared in suppressing COVID-19, the Philippines was placed at the 66th spot.