MANILA (UPDATE) — The daily tally of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines remained high on Monday as the Department of Health (DOH) logged 2,037 new infections, bringing the country's total since the start of the pandemic to 578,381.
It is the 5th straight day that additional cases counted more than 2,000. The ABS-CBN Data Analytics Team said the last time the Philippines saw 5 straight days of more than 2,000 cases was in mid-October last year.
One testing laboratory failed to submit results, the DOH said.
On Monday, the Philippines started its official vaccination against the coronavirus, which was reportedly first detected in China in late 2019. Manila announced its first case in January last year, involving a Chinese woman who arrived from Wuhan City, China where the disease is believed to have first emerged.
Hundreds of Filipino health workers received the COVID-19 vaccine of Sinovac donated by China despite reportedly low vaccine confidence due to the brand’s lower efficacy rate among health workers exposed to COVID-19 in Brazil.
The DOH said active COVID-19 cases in the country stood at 31,708, or 5.5 percent of the cumulative total.
The death toll climbed by 4 to 12,322. Monday's number of newly reported deaths is the lowest in a single day since February 15, according to the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group.
Total recoveries, meanwhile, reached 534,351 as 86 patients more have recuperated from the disease.
Of those currently battling the disease, 89.3% have mild symptoms, 5% are asymptomatic, 2.5% are in critical condition, 2.3% have severe symptoms, and 0.89% have moderate symptoms.
A total of 8 cases, 6 tagged a recovered, were removed from the official tally for being duplicate entries, said the DOH.
The OCTA Group on Monday said Metro Manila has a 4-day average of 942 COVID-19 cases, which is 61% higher than the previous week.
It said the increase in cases might be due to a more transmissible COVID-19 variant, although the country has yet to do more widespread genome sequencing to check the real extent of the UK variant infections.
The research group estimates that if the trend continues, the daily tally of cases in the capital region may reach 2,200 by the end of the month. It also projected the total number of cases in the country to reach 665,000 and fatalities to reach 14,000 by the end of March.
According to the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group, the tally of new COVID-19 cases logged in January and February were both 8,000 to 9,000 cases higher than in December.
The total during the first 2 months of 2021 account for 17.78% or almost a fifth of the running total of 576,352 confirmed cases in the country as of Feb. 28, 2021.