By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The Philippines Department of Health reported an additional 714 COVID-19 cases Saturday, bringing the total to 21,340 cases.

The new cases account for 350 “fresh” test results or those reported within the last three days and 364 late cases or backlogs validated only recently.

Seven additional fatalities were recorded, bringing the total to 994.

The DOH also noted that the bed capacity as of June 5 stands at 13,666 — 3,018 are ward beds (35.09 percent occupied), 9,330 are isolation beds (34.02 percent occupied), and 1,318 are ICU beds (33.99 percent occupied).

Additionally, the DOH has announced its plans to expand testing to include certain asymptomatic subgroups.

Infectious disease expert, Dr. Anna Ong-Lim said  that there will still be criteria for deciding which groups of the asymptomatic population should be tested in order to efficiently maximize the limited supply.

While testing is a vital part of the country’s overall strategy against the pandemic, expanded targeted testing together with other strategies such as prevention through increasing resilience, contact tracing, isolation, and treatment and management remains to be the ideal approach to quell the spread of the disease.

Health Undersecretary Dr. Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire asked the public to continue the proper use of PPEs, physical distancing, and good hygiene should they find themselves outside. She also cautioned against going outside unless absolutely necessary, to minimize the risk of being exposed to COVID-19.