MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippines on Friday reported another huge jump of coronavirus cases with 1,006 new infections, marking its third-highest daily case count since the pandemic began in January.
The new cases took the nationwide tally to 34,073, with the Department of Health (DOH) attributing the climb to expanded testing and community transmission in several areas.
In its latest bulletin, the health department reported 788 “fresh cases” or those validated within the past 3 days.
Some 266 fresh cases came from Metro Manila, which remains the epicenter of COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
Central Visayas, which has the second highest number of coronavirus infections, had 251 fresh cases. The remaining 271 others came from other regions.
Meanwhile, of the 218 “late cases” or test results validated 4 days ago or earlier, some 113 were from Metro Manila, 7 from Central Visayas while 98 came from other regions.
In the fight against the novel coronavirus, the country has recorded more recoveries than deaths as the government aimed to bring the virus under control.
Cases of recoveries jumped by 274 over the previous day, pushing the tally to 9,182, which is considered by authorities as bright spots in the crisis.
The country also recorded a further 12 fatalities from COVID-19, taking the death toll to 1,224.
To date, the Philippines has 22,947 active COVID-19 cases, of which 96 percent of the patients are exhibiting mild symptoms, official DOH figures showed.
The Philippine capital region, which is home to around 12 million people, has the most number of active cases with 9,921, said Dr. Beverly Lorraine Ho, DOH director for health promotion and communication service.
Metro Manila is followed by Central Visayas (5,902), Calabarzon (1,092), Central Luzon (413) and Eastern Visayas (274). Some 1,778 repatriates are also considered active cases.
"With all of these, dapat ba tayong mabahala? Oo. Pero dapat ba tayong maging helpless? Hindi," Ho said in a televised briefing, adding the country has adequate capacity to care for sick patients.
Data from DOH also revealed that community transmission continues to occur, particularly in Cebu, which has emerged as a COVID-19 hotspot.
From June 16 to 24, Cebu logged a 32.8 percent positivity rating, which means that 33 out of 100 people tested for coronavirus turned out positive.
"Patuloy ang community transmission in selected areas. Makikita natin ito sa Cebu, for example, kung saan barangay-barangay ang nagkakahawaan," Ho said.
This pales in comparison to the positivity rate in Metro Manila, which is 7.2 percent. The national positivity rate is 6.8 percent.
To curb the spread of COVID-19, Ho urged the public to strictly comply with health protocols.
Wearing face masks in public reduces the transmission of the virus to 85 percent, Ho said. Observing physical distancing, meanwhile, cuts the transmission rate to 80 percent.
"Hanggang walang vaccine, let us not be complacent," she said.
Since emerging in Wuhan City in Hubei province, China in December, COVID-19 has infected 9.6 million people and killed more than 489,000 others as scientists worldwide race to develop a vaccine and treatments for the disease.