By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The Department of Health (DOH) reported a record-high 6,958 new COVID-19 cases Monday, including 4,163 cases in the Metro Manila area.

Two dozen COVID-19 deaths were also reported today, bringing the total number of deaths to 2,293.

In related data, officials have reported a total of 2,492 COVID-19 cases among the ranks of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Health Service.

More than 900 of the confirmed cases were from the National Capital Region (NCR) and were deployed as front-liners, particularly in the manning of control points and conducting patrol.

Lastly, the DOH strongly reminds the public against the buying and selling of convalescent plasma of recovered COVID-19 patients. Studies have shown that it could pose serious risks to patients, who may contract transfusion-transmissible infections (TTIs) such as HIV, hepatitis, and malaria.

The reminder to the public is brought by increasing reports in the past weeks from families of critically-ill COVID-19 patients allegedly buying convalescent plasma from recovered patients, hospital staff, or fixers. There are also other reports that some intentionally infect themselves so that their plasma can be donated after recovery for which they are promised remuneration.

The DOH emphasizes that these alleged transactions and practices are illegal, reckless and dangerous. Those individuals do not only place their lives at risk, but they also put their families and communities at risk when they voluntarily get infected.

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“Trading blood and other blood products, including those from recovered COVID-19 patients, is not only illegal but highly dangerous. Convalescent Plasma should not be for sale and should be voluntarily donated for COVID-19 patients in need,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque said.

Presently, only the Philippine Blood Center and the Philippine Red Cross-Port Area are the certified non-hospital-based convalescent plasma collection facilities, while Philippine General Hospital and St. Luke’s Medical Center are the only hospitals certified to collect convalescent plasma for use in its treatment protocol.