The Philippines recorded 98 new cases of the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), the highest spike in the country in a day, bringing the total number of infected patients to 462, the Department of Health announced Monday.

DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a news conference the arrival of new testing kits and the extension of testing laboratories nationwide will result in the continuous spike of positive cases for COVID-19.

Mas marami na po tayong nagagawang test ngayon at nare-reduce na natin ang ating backlogs and because of that, baka artificial rise ito, so sabi ko nga, huwag kayo magugulat kung pataas tayo ng pataas dahil sa artificial rise,” Vergeire said.

Vergeire, however, clarified that even if there is an artificial rise in cases, it doesn’t mean that the number of cases is not rising.

Umaakyat na po siya…dahil ngayon papunta na po tayo para maging stable ang ating testing capacity,” Vergeire added. (The number of cases is already rising because our testing capacity is becoming stable.)

Meanwhile, the total fatalities in the country jumped to 33 after DOH posted 8 new additional deaths. One patient, on the other hand, has recovered from the disease, bringing the total number of recoveries to 18. 

Two weeks ago, President Rodrigo Duterte placed the entire Luzon into an “enhanced community quarantine” to control the rapid spike of positive cases for COVID-19 in the country.  (RJ Espartinez)