MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippines logged 2,651 fresh COVID-19 cases on Friday, one of the highest single-day figures in more than 4 months, bringing the total number of infections to 571,327.
This, as the country ramped up preparations for the Sunday arrival of the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines from China's Sinovac, while the Philippines fell behind regional neighbors in beginning mass inoculations.
The day's tally is the highest since Oct. 17, when the Department of Health (DOH) announced 2,673 new cases, according to the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group.
Friday's new figure does not include, however, data from 8 accredited laboratories that failed to submit results on time.
This is also the second straight day that new infections were more than 2,000. Except for Feb. 12, Feb. 20, Feb. 22, and Feb. 25, the country has been tallying less than 2,000 daily cases in the past 2 weeks, amid the presence of the new COVID-19 variants.
With 524,582 total recoveries and 12,247 fatalities, the country now has 34,498 remaining active infections.
A total of 94.9 percent of the patients are currently asymptomatic or experiencing mild symptoms, according to the health department. Some 2.3 percent are critically ill while 2.1 percent have severe symptoms of the virus.
Recoveries increased by 561, while 46 more patients died due to COVID-19.
Out of 28,892 people who got tested for the disease, 2,088 or 7.2 percent yielded positive for COVID-19.
Four cases considered as "duplicates" have been removed from the total tally, of which 1 was a recovery.
Some 20 cases, meanwhile, which were initially tagged as recoveries turned out to be fatalities after the agency's final validation.
The country has a total 62 reported cases of the more transmissible COVID-19 variant from the UK.
The total number of patients found to have both N501Y and E484K coronavirus mutations, meanwhile, is at 34.
The Philippines is the last Southeast Asian nation to get a delivery of COVID-19 shots, with some of its neighbors already having rolled out their respective vaccination programs months ago.
With still the second highest coronavirus cases in the region, next only to Indonesia, the Philippines aims to inoculate up to 70 million people or two-thirds of its population.
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