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15,000 New COVID-19 Cases in One Day. Will ECQ Be Extended?

A new all-time high.
IMAGE JEROME ASCANO
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The Philippines on Friday tallied over 15,000 new COVID-19 cases, a new all-time high in a single day, ahead of a meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force on whether or not to extend the lockdown or ECQ past April 4.

The Department of Health reported 15,310 new COVID-19 cases, of which 3,709 were supposed to be included in the March 31 tally. Even without the backlogs, Friday's total would still be an all-time high of 11,601 in a single day.

On March 31, the Philippines reported its lowest single-day COVID-19 case tally of 6,128 new infections since the start of the ECQ due to a glitch in the data management system. Had the 3,709 backlog been tallied that day, the March 31 total would be 9,837.

Seventeen new deaths were reported on Friday, to bring the total to 13,320. There were 434 new recoveries, pushing the total to 604,368 since the start of the pandemic.

Overall, the Philippines has 153,809 active COVID-19 cases. Since the start of the pandemic, the country has tallied a total of 771,497 COVID-19 cases.

The IATF is scheduled to meet on Black Saturday to decide whether or not the Enhanced Community Quarantine in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal would be extended beyond Easter Sunday.

The ECQ in the so-called NCR Plus bubble requires most of the 24 million people in the country's economic hub to stay indoors, except when buying food and medicine and for limited on-site work.

New infections, blamed on virus variants, have pushed daily caseloads past the 2020 peaks and hospitals are getting overwhelmed, putting pressure on the government to speed up its vaccination program.

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This story originally appeared on Reportr.World. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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