MANILA (2nd UPDATE)—The Philippines on Friday reported 4,578 confirmed COVID-19 infections, the first time in 2021 the daily number surpassed 4,000 and the highest in 6 months.
Overall, the country's total cases stood at 611,618.
This developed, as Metro Manila mayors agreed to reimpose a curfew for two weeks starting Monday, and the OCTA Research group sounded the alarm on the spike of infections in the capital region in recent weeks.
The day's fresh cases are the highest since last September 14, when the Department of Health (DOH) announced 4,699 confirmed infections, the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group said.
The new figure is also considered the highest announced daily COVID-19 tally so far this year, data showed. The country also reported a record-daily high on Thursday, when the DOH logged 3,749 infections.
It does not, however, include data from the 5 DOH-accredited laboratories that failed to submit results on time.
Active cases reached 52,012, with 92.2 percent of the patients experiencing mild symptoms or are asymptomatic, according to the health department.
The total number of active infections is also considered the highest since October 17 last year, ABS-CBN Data Analytics Head Edson Guido said. It was also the day when active cases last breached 50,000, he said.
Deaths rose to 12,694 after the DOH logged 87 more COVID-related fatalities.
ABS-CBN IRG also noted that the day's deaths is the highest announced by DOH in a single day since Feb. 20, when the agency announced 239 deaths.
Recoveries, meanwhile, increased by 272 to 546,912, data showed.
Out of the 32,156 individuals who underwent testing for COVID-19, some 3,425 or 10.7 percent yielded positive for the disease.
BREAKDOWN OF NEW CASES
According to Guido, almost half or 2,158 of the newly-reported cases came from Metro Manila, the highest daily increase since Sept. 14 last year.
NCR was followed by Calabarzon with 625. This is the highest daily tally from the region since Oct. 17 last year, he said.
Topping the list of cities with the highest recorded cases on Friday were Quezon City with 481, Pasay with 280, Manila with 276, Bulacan with 260, Cavite with 225, and Rizal with 186.
A total of 8 duplicates, meanwhile, have been removed from the cumulative tally, said the health department. Five of those were recoveries while a case was a fatality.
Some 26 cases previously identified as recoveries also turned out to be deaths after the agency's final validation.
The OCTA Research group earlier in the day projected the daily cases in the country to reach over 6,500 by end March, should the rate of infections become uncontrolled.
They also pointed out that the capital region alone might also record some 4,000 new cases at the end of the month, due to its increasing reproduction value.
Because of this, the team of researchers urged local government units to implement stricter health measures, including localized lockdowns and border controls.
The country's top health officials earlier denied that the detected presence of COVID-19 variants locally led to the recent spike of infections, and blamed the public becoming more "lax" in observing minimum health protocols.