China gives more kits as infections near 11,000

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A man went through swab testing for the coronavirus at a gym in Old Balara Annex in Quezon City on April 22. The local government has placed 34 of its villages under “extreme enhanced community quarantine.” -- MICHAEL VARCAS/PHILSTAR

CHINA has donated another set of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) test kits and protective equipment to the Philippines, as local infections neared 11,000, the Chinese Embassy in Manila said on Sunday.

These included 150,000 testing kits, 100 ventilators, 70,000 medical protective suits, 70,000 N95 medical masks, 1。3 million surgical masks and 70,000 medical protective goggles, it said in a statement。

北京赛车pk10投注“We hope these urgently needed medical supplies could be allotted to the frontliners as soon as possible,” Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian said。

The government took delivery of the first batch of the 150,000 test kits and 18,000 disposable clothing on Saturday, the Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement yesterday. The rest of the donations were expected to arrive last night via a chartered flight, it added.

The Department of Health (DoH) reported 184 new coronavirus infections yesterday, bringing the total to 10,794.

The death toll rose to 719 after 15 more patients died, it said in a bulletin。 Eighty-two more patients have gotten well, bringing the total recoveries to1,924, it added。

Of the 184 new cases, 77 came from Metro Manila, 75 from Central Visayas and 32 from the other regions, the agency said。

DoH said 26 laboratories have been certified to examine COVID-19 samples。 It targets to conduct 30,000 tests daily by the end of May。

Also yesterday, the Office of the Court Administrator said 4,683 inmates had been released from April 30 to May 8. These were on top of the 9,731 inmates released from March 17 to April 30.

The Supreme Court earlier issued guidelines on the release of indigent inmates through reduced bail or own recognizance to address congestion issues in jails during the pandemic.

The Justice department had also approved a Board of Pardons and Parole order easing the requirements for pardon and executive clemency。

北京赛车pk10投注Meanwhile, DFA said Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. received the donations from Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian in a ceremony.

“I hope these supplies are immediately and efficiently released to those who need it,” Mr. Locsin said in a social media post.

China earlier donated medical supplies including 252,000 test kits, 310,000 surgical masks, 40,000 N95 masks, 33,000 protective suits, 5,000 face shields and 30 noninvasive ventilators to the Philippines。

It also sent a team of medical experts to help the government of President Rodrigo R。 Duterte deal with the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic。

The embassy also noted that private enterprises had donated about three million masks and personal protective equipment, in response to the call of the Chinese government for help.

The COVID-19 virus was first detected in China’s Wuhan City late last year。

The virus has sickened 4.1 million and killed more than 280,000 people worldwide, according to the Worldometers website, citing various sources including data from the World Health Organization.

About 1.4 million people have recovered from the virus, it said.

北京赛车pk10投注DFA earlier said the Chinese donations had nothing to do with its claims in the South China Sea.

Mr. Duterte has sought closer investment and trade ties with China, including over resources in the disputed sea, since he became president in June 2016.

The Philippines last month protested China’s creation of two new districts in the South China Sea because these are supposedly part of Philippine territory and sea zones。

The Chinese government declared two new districts in Sansha City, which prompted Mr. Locsin to file a diplomatic protest at the Chinese Embassy in Manila.

Rival Southeast Asian claimant nations and the United States have criticized China’s recent assertive moves in the disputed waterway as the world battles the coronavirus pandemic. — Charmaine A. Tadalan and Vann Marlo M. Villegas