MANILA, March 26 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines on Thursday reported 71 more people, including a senator, who had tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases to 707.
Philippine Health Secretary Francisco Duque said 45 people had died from the virus, while 28 patients had recovered.
"Cases are expected to rise in the coming days due to our capacity to make more tests," Duque said, adding that it is better to confirm those who are positive so that they can be isolated and given proper medical care.
Senator Sonny Angara issued a statement on Thursday that he was confirmed to have the virus, the third senator who tested positive. Senators Miguel Zubiri and Aquilino Pimentel also announced earlier that they were infected.
Meanwhile, Representative Eric Go Yap of the House of Representatives also announced that he tested positive for COVID-19.
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and several lawmakers and staff present at House of Representatives session on Monday that Yap attended decided to self-isolate.
On Wednesday, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared "a state of national emergency" in the entire Philippines as the number of COVID-19 cases continued to climb.