MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippines on Thursday registered 778 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, raising the nationwide total to 33,069.
The surge in infection could be attributed to expanded testing and easement of lockdown restrictions, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a televised briefing.
In its latest bulletin, the Department of Health (DOH) reported 415 fresh cases or those validated within the past 3 days.
Fresh infections spiked in Metro Manila with 250 while Central Visayas had 72. The remaining 93 fresh cases came from other regions.
Meanwhile, of the 363 late cases or test results validated 4 days ago or earlier, some 202 were from Metro Manila while Central Visayas had 34. The remaining 127 late cases were from other regions.
Despite the increasing case load, the country has seen more recoveries from the illness since it emerged from Wuhan City in Hubei province, China.
The tally of recoveries stood at 8,910, with 255 patients given clean bill of health in the past 24 hours.
The health ministry, however, reported 8 new fatalities from the contagious disease, pushing the death toll to 1,212.
As the DOH keep tabs on emerging hot spots of COVID-19 such as Cebu and parts of Eastern Visayas, Vergeire said the country had adequate health capacity to care for coronavirus patients.
"Based on a recent national data, our health system is not overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases," she said.
As a response to emerging threats, the health ministry has provided technical assistance and supply to increase testing capacity in Cebu, Vergeire said.
The Philippine government imposed an economically crippling lockdown in mid-March to halt the spread of COVID-19.
It gradually eased restrictions, placing the Philippine capital region under a less stringent lockdown in June.
To date, the country has tested 580,000 individuals for COVID-19, latest figures from DOH showed. It reached nearly 12,000 testing capacity on June 23, far from its target of 30,000 daily testing.
Worldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic has sickened 9.4 million people and killed more than 482,000, according to a running tally from US-based John Hopkins University.