MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippines confirmed 1,888 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday bringing the country’s total to 561,169.
The Department of Health also reported 9,737 new recoveries pushing the total number of Filipinos who recovered from the disease to 522,843.
This meant that the country has a total of 26,238 active cases as of 4 p.m. Sunday.
Twenty more deaths were reported from the illness, bringing COVID-19’s death toll in the Philippines to 12,088.
Among the country’s regions, the National Capital Region had the most number of new confirmed infections at 618. NCR was followed by Region 7 or Central Visayas with 404, and the Cordillera Administrative Region at 176.
Cebu City had the most number of new cases at 169, followed by Cebu province and Quezon City which both had 107 new cases.
The 618 cases is the highest daily tally in NCR since December 18, 2020. This marks the 4th straight day that Metro Manila reported more than 500 new cases. The last time this happened was November 5-8, last year.
The government earlier said it can inoculate 50 to 70 million Filipinos against COVID-19 by the end of the year if vaccine supplies arrive on time.
However, the top official in charge of rolling out COVID-19 vaccines said procurement of the medicines was delayed over manufacturers’ concerns that the Philippines may sue them, just like it did with Sanofi over the Dengvaxia vaccines.
Several new and more infectious variants of the novel coronavirus have emerged. One variant, which was first reported in the United Kingdom, has spread to the Philippines.
Eighteen new cases of the UK variant were confirmed earlier on Sunday, bringing the county's total to 62.
The DOH has also confirmed two mutations of the SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19, in Central Visayas.
Another variant from South Africa, has drawn concern from scientists as vaccines seem to be less effective against it.
The country’s first COVID-19 case was a 38-year-old Chinese woman from Wuhan, China, which was confirmed by the DOH on Jan. 30, last year.
The pandemic has already caused the Philippines to plunge into its worst economic contraction since World War 2.
Worldwide, the novel coronavirus has infected more than 111 million people and caused over 2.46 million deaths since it first emerged in Wuhan, China in late 2019 according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
The United States remains the most badly affected country with over 28 million infections and over 497,000 deaths.
India follows the US with 10.99 million infections. Brazil ranks third with 10.1 million infections but is second in terms of deaths with over 245,000 COVID-19 fatalities.