By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Philippines health officials reported an additional 590 confirmed COVID-19 cases today, bringing the country total to 17,224.

The number of daily confirmed cases has risen as a result of increased testing and the Department of Health’s (DOH) aggressive efforts to catch up on the testing backlog, according to Health OIC-Undersecretary Dr. Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire.

According to the DOH, “fresh cases” refer to test results came out and were validated by the Epidemiology Bureau in the last three days. “Late cases” are those whose results came out four days ago or more but were just recently confirmed.

Of the newly reported cases today, 252 are “fresh cases”, while 338 are “late” cases.

Much of the reporting of COVID-19 cases has experienced a delay due to operational issues with the manual data collection. According to public health epidemiologist Dr. Troy Gepte, this delay needs to be taken into consideration when reading the numbers, because they do not  translate to an increase in local transmission at that very moment.

In addition, eight deaths were reported today, putting the total death count at 950.

Officials say mortality due to COVID-19 has been on the decline since late March, assuring the DOH that the healthcare sector’s treatment of the illness has been progressively improving.