Earlier today, April 20, 2020, at 4 p.m., the Department of Health reported 200 additional COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 6,459. DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire also reported 41 new recoveries and 19 deaths, resulting in a total of 613 recovered patients and 428 COVID-19 fatalities in the country.
Update on PPEs and Tests
During the Beat COVID-19 virtual presser, Health Undersecretary Vergeire announced that the DOH is expecting 300,000 N95 face masks, 271,100 gowns, 18,000 coveralls, 26,250 goggles, 52,500 shoe covers, 52,500 aprons, and 500 non-contact infrared thermometers this week. These will be delivered to different hospitals and quarantine facilities with the help of the Office of the Civil Defense.
Aside from the 17 accredited testing centers approved by DOH, there are now 44 laboratories in the Philippines undergoing certification and licensing to be official COVID-19 testing facilities.
Usec Vergeire added that DOH has tested 55,465 persons to date.
Enhanced Community Quaratine—end or extend?
As April 30, the last day of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), nears, speculations on whether it will be extended made the rounds on social media. In a televised press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque stated that President Rodrigo Duterte has two options: to extend or to modify the ECQ after consulting with health experts.
“We are hoping and praying that the right decision will be made,” Roque said. “He will be guided by science.”