The Philippines Department of Health (DOH) reported 1233 new COVID-19 cases today, bringing the case total to 52,914. Health officials emphasize that the increase in cases can be attributed to clusters in specific areas and not a general increase across the country. Majority of the newly announced fresh cases on July 5 are concentrated in three regions: The National Capital Region (NCR) with 1,482 fresh cases, Central Visayas (Region VII) with 1,118, and Calabarzon (Region IV-A) with 223.
42 deaths were also reported putting the country death toll to 1360.
With the increases in cases and reports of SARS-CoV-2 being airborne, the DOH stressed the importance of wearing a mask as part of the prescribed minimum health standards to ensure utmost protection from COVID-19.
According to Dr. Edsel Salvana, a member of the DOH Technical Advisory Group and Director of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the National Institutes of Health at the University of the Philippines Manila, the virus is already assumed to be airborne when conducting aerosol generating procedures in hospitals.
“This is why our healthcare workers use N95 masks and conduct strict infection prevention and control measures,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Sight-Vergeire said.
The effectiveness of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face masks, face shields, and physical distancing must not be underestimated, the Health Spokesperson emphasized. According to studies, wearing masks lowers the chance of transmission by up to 85%, while maintaining a physical distance of one meter reduces the risk of transmission by 80%.