MANILA - The Philippines on Monday confirmed 5,249 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the country's total to 1,364,239.
The number of newly reported infections is the lowest daily tally in nearly two weeks, or since June 8 when 4,777 cases were announced, the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group said.
According to the Department of Health, 7,053 patients recuperated recently from the disease, raising the total recoveries to 1,284,643.
It is the lowest daily tally of recoveries in three days, or since June 18, when 3,441 recoveries were reported, said the ABS-CBN IRG.
The death toll, meanwhile, climbed to 23,749 after 128 more people succumbed to the disease.
Active cases stood at 55,847, or 4.1 percent of the total recorded cases. It is the lowest in 12 days, or since June 9 when the DOH logged 53,954 active infections.
The number of active cases reported in previous days has been adjusted for duplicates.
While all laboratories were operational on June 19, eight facilities were unable to submit data to the government's repository system.
The Philippines earlier in the day said 4 additional Delta variant carriers entered the country between May and the first week of June, bringing the number of Filipinos infected with it to 17.
Three of the 4 Delta variant carriers are seafarers from the MV Eastern Hope, a ship currently docked in South Korea, while the fourth case arrived from Saudi Arabia on May 24, the DOH.
One Delta variant carrier is still confined in a hospital, while the rest have recovered, it said.
The Philippines also confirmed an additional 14 Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant cases, 21 Beta (B.1.351) variant cases, and one Theta (P.3) variant case.
"Of the additional 14 Alpha variant cases detected, 12 are local cases while two are being verified as to whether these are local or returning overseas Filipino (ROF) cases," the DOH said.
Among these 14 Alpha variant carriers, 2 died while 12 have recovered.
The Philippines needs to be more vigilant against the entry of the Delta variant in the country as it is 2 times more infectious than the Alpha, a COVID-19 mutation that is 60 percent more contagious than the virus' original strain, health officials said.
The Delta variant was first detected in India, while the Alpha variant was first found in the United Kingdom.
There is no sufficient evidence to say that foreign variants are the main drivers of the spread of COVID-19 in the Visayas and Mindanao, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online press conference.
"'Yung chain of transmission, hindi po natin agad naaagapan kaya nagkakaroon po tayo ng clustering of cases," she said.
(We are not immediately stopping the chain of transmission, that's why we have a clustering of cases.)
"These can also be drivers of infection, but there are a multitude of factors," she added.
The Philippines is eyeing to inoculate at least 58 million people this year to achieve herd immunity against the coronavirus, which is believed to have first emerged in Wuhan City, China in late 2019.
The national government said it has inked a deal with Pfizer to procure 40 million doses of its COVID-19 jabs, and expects to receive 20 million vaccines from Moderna.
As of June 20, the Philippines has fully vaccinated 2.1 million individuals. More than 8.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have so far been administered in the country since the rollout started in March.