Philippines' COVID-19 cases now over 164,000 with 3,314 new patients

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 17) — There are now 164,474 coronavirus cases in the Philippines, the Department of Health said, as it reported 3,314 new infections on Monday.

The top five areas nationwide with the most number of new cases are Metro Manila with 1,918, Laguna with 274, Cavite with 219, Rizal with 118, and Bulacan with 105.

The DOH also announced a new batch of 237 survivors, bringing the tally of recoveries to 112,759 or 68 percent of the total COVID-19 case count.

On Sunday, the department reported the country’s highest single-day rise in recoveries with over 40,000 more patients tagged as recovered under its time-based recovery program.

The country’s death toll, meanwhile, went up to 2,681, with 18 new deaths.

DOH said of the newly announced deaths, four occurred in August, 12 in July, and two in June. It added that five were recorded in Calabarzon, four in Central Visayas, four in Metro Manila, three in Central Luzon, and one each in Northern Mindanao and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Active cases or currently ill patients in the country are now at 49,034, according to DOH.

President Rodrigo Duterte is scheduled to announce on Monday the new quarantine status in Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, which are under a modified enhanced community quarantine until August 18.

Philippine College of Physicians President Dr. Mario Panaligan said hospitals in virus hotspot Metro Manila are “not yet ready” to shift to a more relaxed quarantine status this week, as they are still seeing high rates of admission for COVID-19 patients.

READ: Physicians group: Metro Manila hospitals ‘not yet ready’ for GCQ shift

However, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque earlier called an MECQ extension "highly unlikely," saying the government is running out of funds to distribute to poor families affected by the strict lockdown restrictions.