86.7 % of coronavirus cases in Philippines are mild: WHO

A health worker puts on a protective suit as they conduct mass testing for COVID-19 in Manila, Philippines on Friday, May 8, 2020. The whole of metropolitan Manila is still under enhanced community quarantine to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

MANILA, Philippines (The Inquirer/ANN) — About 9,070 or 86.7 percent of all recorded COVID-19 cases in the Philippines are mild, the World Health Organization (WHO) highlighted in a situation report.

Of the total 10,463 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country, meanwhile, 54 percent are male, with 30 to 39 years old as the most affected age group at 21.3 percent, followed by the 20 to 29 age group at 16.9 percent, according to the report released on Friday.

Of the 696 deaths recorded, 65 percent are also males with the most affected age group over 70 years at 36.6 percent, followed by the 60 to 69 years group at 32.6 percent.

Most of the COVID-19-related deaths reported are from Luzon, with Metro Manila having the most number of fatalities at 71.8 percent, followed by Calabarzon at 12.3 percent and Central Luzon at 4.1 percent.

“The current transmission classification in the Philippines is identified as clusters of cases with evidence of community transmission in highly urbanized areas of NCR, Cebu and Davao,” the WHO noted.

The country also on Friday recorded the highest increase of COVID-19 recoveries with 116 new recoveries, raising the total to 1,734.

The 23 accredited COVID-19 laboratories across the Philippines have been conducting over 7,000 RT-PCR (real-time polymerase chain reaction) tests every day, the WHO said. While total daily testing capacity stands at around 13,000, the actual number of tests fluctuates “due to continued shortages of supplies.”

The Philippines heavily relies on RT-PCR tests as both the WHO and the Department of Health (DOH) have yet to validate rapid antibody testing, despite several laboratories in the country using the method.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Tuesday explained that rapid antibody test kits are not “stand-alone” tests as these only detect antibodies, not the novel coronavirus itself.

Vergeire earlier announced that the country will be able to conduct 30,000 tests per day by the end of May amid efforts to increase testing capacity for COVID-19.