MANILA - The Philippines confirmed 4,899 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday bringing the country’s total to 621,498.
The Department of Health also reported 13,371 new recoveries pushing the total number of Filipinos who recovered from the disease to 560,512.
This means that the country has a total of 48,157 active cases as of 4 p.m. Sunday.
Sixty three more deaths were reported from the illness, bringing COVID-19’s death toll in the Philippines to 12,829.
As the country prepares to mark the first anniversary of the world’s longest and most stringent pandemic lockdowns, cases continue to surge, prompting local government units in Metro Manila to reimpose a curfew across the capital.
The OCTA Research Group said on Sunday that the Philippines might record up to 8,000 daily new COVID-19 cases by the end of the month, and 18,000 to 20,000 by mid-April if the current reproduction rate does not change.
A member of the University of the Philippines Pandemic Response Team said the recent spike in the Philippines' COVID-19 cases can be considered as a second wave.
An official of the World Health Organization however earlier said that the recent spike in cases cannot be considered a second wave because the first wave has yet to be flattened.
The pandemic has already caused the Philippines to plunge into its worst economic contraction since World War 2.
Several new variants of the virus causing disease have developed, which researchers say may be more contagious than the original variant. The variants from South Africa, the UK and Brazil have concerned experts who believe that they are either more contagious or more resistant to vaccines. A new variant has also been detected in the Philippines.
The country’s first COVID-19 case was a 38-year-old Chinese woman from Wuhan, China.
The first COVID-19 death outside of China, was also recorded in the Philippines last year.
Worldwide, the novel coronavirus has infected more than 119.5 million people and caused over 2.64 million deaths since it was first reported in Wuhan, China in late 2019 according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
The United States remains the most badly affected country with over 29.4 million infections and over 534,000 deaths.
Brazil ranks second with 11.44 million infections and over 277,000 COVID-19 fatalities. In terms of number of infections, India is third with 11.36 million confirmed cases. In terms of deaths meanwhile, Mexico’s COVID-19 fatalities surged in the previous week and now ranks third with over 194,000 deaths.