Philippines posts 1,960 new COVID-19 cases, total tops 547,000

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 13 2021 04:21 PM | Updated as of Feb 13 2021 07:56 PM

Philippines posts 1,960 new COVID-19 cases, total tops 547,000 1
Visitors in limited numbers shop at the Dangwa flower market in Dimasalang, Manila ahead of Valentine's Day on February 12, 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) — The Philippines added 1,960 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases on Saturday, bringing the nation’s total number of infections to 547,255 as the health department recorded more patients with the more transmissible variant of the virus. 

The day’s figure does not include results from 3 Department of Health (DOH)-accredited laboratories that failed to submit data to the COVID-19 Data Repository System on Friday.

Active infections are now at 34,967. Some 95 percent of patients who have COVID-19 are experiencing mild symptoms or are asymptomatic. A total of 2.3 percent are critically ill while 2.2 percent are severe cases. 

The health department logged 12 more deaths. The country’s death toll stood at 11,507. This is the second day that deaths counted fewer than 50. 

In the past 2 weeks, the DOH recorded more than 50 daily fatalities, citing “harmonization” of data with the Philippine Statistics Authority. 

Recoveries increased to 500,781 after 133 more patients got better from the disease. 

Out of the 26,313 people tested for COVID-19, some 1,413 tested positive for the virus, the health agency noted. 

Meanwhile, 5 duplicates have been removed from the total tally, of which 2 were recoveries. 

Four cases initially tagged as recoveries, meanwhile, turned out to be fatalities after the agency's final examination. 

The OCTA Research Group, an independent research unit posting trends and timely updates on the country’s COVID-19 situation, earlier in the day urged the government to strictly impose minimum health standards to prevent the spread of emerging COVID-19 strains while quarantine restrictions gradually eased.

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The country now has a total of 44 reported cases of the B.1.1.7 variant originally detected in the UK after a routine biosurveillance from the DOH and the Philippine Genome Center found 19 more cases on Friday. 

The DOH has yet to respond to an inquiry on whether there is already a confirmed case of community transmission of the said variant. 

One of the first COVID-19 vaccines to arrive in the country, Sinovac is also expected within the month, as the government races to slow down the virus' transmission.

Globally, more than 108 million have been infected with COVID-19, of which almost 2.4 million already died, the running tally from US-based Johns Hopkins University showed.