MANILA (UPDATED) — The Philippines reported on Monday 3,356 additional COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 597,763 as vaccinations continue for the second week.
This is the 4th straight day that the country logged more than 3,000 newly confirmed cases. It is also the 2nd highest in a single day this year.
Monday’s tally did not include data from 6 laboratories that failed to submit results on time.
The Department of Health also announced 5 new COVID-related deaths or a total of 12,521 fatalities, accounting for 2.09 percent of the cumulative total cases.
There are also 61 new recovered patients or a total of 545,912 recoveries.
Active cases in the country stood at 39,330 or 6.6 percent of the cumulative total.
Of those currently battling the disease, 91.2% have mild symptoms, 4% are asymptomatic, 2% are in critical condition, 2% have severe symptoms, and 0.83% have moderate symptoms.
A total of 5 cases, 2 tagged as recovered, were removed from the official tally for being duplicate entries.
The Philippines, which started last week its COVID-19 vaccine rollout, has been seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases, especially in parts of the National Capital Region and Region 7.
DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Monday acknowledged the increase in cases and emphasized that while the new and more transmissible variants might be a factor, the main cause is the non-compliance of people with health protocols such as the wearing of face masks.
Vergeire said that while daily cases averaged around 1,100 to 1,200 from December 28 to January 2, it went up to 2,400 last week.
“Pag tinignan natin talaga pong tumaas ang ating mga kaso and there are specific areas in the country na talagang nakikita natin ang patuloy na pagtaas for the past week,” she said, pointing out that the National Capital Region’s weekly cases rose from just 300 to 400 to now 1,000.
(When we look at the increase in cases there are specific areas in the country where we see the continued increase in cases in the past week.)
Vergeire said Region 7, which include Cebu, also logged 400 cases a week, from just around 30 previously.
“Whatever increase in the number of cases we are having right now, cannot be attributed solely to the variants,” she said. “The underlying cause of why the cases are increasing are because of the non-compliance to the health protocols.”
There are currently 118 UK variant cases and 58 South African variant cases as of last week.
The Philippines currently has over a million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from Sinovac and AstraZeneca, but the DOH said it is still not enough for the country's health workers, who are first in the vaccination priority list.
The country is expected to receive more vaccines in the coming weeks.
There are more than 48.1 million people currently infected with COVID-19 worldwide. Since the start of the pandemic, 116.9 million people have contracted the disease, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus dashboard. Of those, almost 2.6 million have died and 66.2 million have recovered.