MANILA (UPDATE) — Coronavirus infections in the Philippines soared to 563,456 on Monday after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 2,288 new COVID-19 cases, the highest in more than 3 months.
The additional cases do not include data from 6 laboratories that failed to submit results on time.
The last highest daily tally of cases was on Nov. 8, 2020, when the DOH reported 2,442 newly confirmed infections.
Active cases in the country stood at 28,488, or 5.1 percent of the cumulative total.
Of those currently battling the disease, 88.1% have mild symptoms, 5.7% are asymptomatic, 2.7% are in critical condition, 2.6% have severe symptoms, and 0.85% have moderate symptoms.
The DOH also reported 6 new COVID-related deaths or a total of 12,094 fatalities, accounting for 2.15 percent of the cumulative total.
There are also 33 new recovered patients or a total of 522,874 recoveries.
One case was removed from the official tally due to a duplicate entry. There were also 2 cases tagged as recovered that turned out to be fatalities after final validation.
On Saturday, the DOH logged 239 deaths, which it attributed to “ongoing death data completion with disease reporting units and PSA (Philippine Statistics Authority).”
It said the deaths for February is not higher when compared to previous months, although of 239 deaths on Saturday, 59% were from January while 78 were from this month.
The OCTA Research Group on Sunday highlighted the continued increase in COVID-19 cases in the National Capital Region, specifically in Pasay, Malabon and Las Piñas.
Some areas in Pasay have been placed on localized lockdown (meaning, only streets or compounds are under lockdown instead of whole barangays).
Local officials said the spread of COVID-19 in Pasay is most likely due to the increased mobility of people during the holidays. But the DOH said it is also looking into the possibility of new and more transmissible variants spreading.
This as economic managers propose the further easing of quarantine measures for the whole country to address poverty and unemployment. Some officials expressed opposition to it, suggesting instead a more gradual easing of restrictions.
The country has yet to receive its COVID-19 vaccine supplies even as several other nations have already began inoculating their population against the coronavirus.
On Monday, the Philippines' Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for the COVID-19 vaccine of Sinovac, weeks after approving also the product of Pfizer and AstraZeneca. It is unclear, however, when exactly these vaccines would arrive.
There are 46 million people currently infected with COVID-19 worldwide. Since the start of the pandemic, almost 111.4 million people have contracted the disease, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus dashboard. Of those, almost 2.5 million have died and almost 62.9 million have recovered.