MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippines' health department on Monday reported 6,846 new coronavirus infections, pushing the country's total to 1,108,826.
The number of new cases is the lowest in four days, or since May 6 when 6,637 additional infections were announced, the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group said.
Five laboratories "were not able to submit their data" for Monday's report, according to the Department of Health.
The country's active cases stood at 59,897, or 5.4 percent of the cumulative total. The number is the lowest in nearly two months, or since March 16 when 57,404 active infections were recorded, said the ABS-CBN IRG.
The number of active cases reported in previous days has been adjusted for duplicates, added the ABS-CBN IRG.
Meanwhile, total recoveries climbed by 8,193, the lowest since May 7 when 4,227 were announced, to 1,030,367.
The death toll also increased by 90 to 18,562. The number of additional fatalities is the lowest since May 2, when 77 were reported, noted the ABS-CBN IRG.
While the virus' reproduction rate in Metro Manila - the epicenter of COVID-19 in the country - has declined to 0.67, and a weekly growth rate of -27 percent, new "areas of concern" outside the capital region have been detected, according to the OCTA research group.
As daily virus cases in the capital region declined to an average of 2,100 from a peak of 5,500, the cities of Puerto Princesa, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga City, and Bacolod have recorded more COVID-19 patients, noted OCTA research fellow Guido David.
"Based on history, nakikita natin na itong smaller LGUs (local government units), mas mabilis nila nako-control ang situation. 'Di pa naman necessarily alarming ito," he told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo over the weekend.
Thousands of the newly delivered AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine will be deployed to all regions, but the bulk of about 500,000 doses will be allotted for Metro Manila, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online press conference.
"Nasa NCR Plus po yung pinakamataas nating alokasyon so that we can have herd containment in this epicenter of this disease," she said.
(The highest number of allocation is for NCR plus so that we can have herd containment in this epicenter of this disease.)
Some 193,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses from Pfizer, which are expected to arrive the Philippines on Monday night, will be distributed to Metro Manila, Cebu and Davao, Vergeire added.
"We give them sa mga may kapasidad na local government units," she said, noting that the US-made jabs need to be stored in -70 degrees Celcius.
(We give them to local government units that already have the storage capacity.)
"Ito 'yung may mga subok na... na 'yung ultra low freezer nila at handling ay makakaya, so hindi tayo magkakaroon ng wastage,"
(These are the ones that have shown that they have ultra low frezzers and that they are capable of handling these vaccines so we don't have wastage.)
The Philippines has administered over 2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines since its inoculation drive started last March 1.
Globally, more than 158.34 million COVID-19 cases have been recorded by the US-based Johns Hopkins University, with nearly 3.3 million deaths.
The Philippines logged its first case on Jan. 30 last year in a Chinese woman who arrived from Wuhan City, China where the disease is believed to have first emerged.