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Philippines' COVID-19 cases swell to 1,546; death toll climbs to 78

The Department of Health (DOH) announced 128 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday (March 30), jumping to 1, 546 total number of infections in the Philippines.

It was reported that there were seven additional deaths wrapping today's fatalities to 78 while there were no new recoveries noted thus remaining the number of 42 recovered patients.

The DOH explained that the surge in COVID-19 cases this month is due to the country’s increased of testing capacity led by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and bolstered by several sub-national laboratories that recently became operational.

The RITM is capable of conducting 900 to 1,000 tests each day and the sub-national laboratories, which received certification last week, can do 80 to 160 tests daily.

Earlier on Monday, the Food and Drug Administration also announced the approval of five rapid test kits that can detect SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

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