MANILA — The Philippines' health department on Wednesday reported 2,218 additional COVID-19 cases, bringing the country's total to 226,440.
The last time the number of additional cases was lower than this was on July 29, with 1,834.
Of the new cases, which were based on test results from 102 out of 110 operational laboratories, half or 1,163 are from the National Capital Region, while 112 are from Laguna, 107 from Cebu, 82 from Iloilo, and 81 from Negros Occidental.
The NCR, home to more than 10 million Filipinos, has been the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the Philippines. It is one of the last areas in the country that had to be placed under stricter quarantine measures, and will remain under general community quarantine until Sept. 30.
Cebu province, meanwhile, was identified as an emerging hotspot before. Usually, the top 5 areas with new COVID-19 cases are in Luzon, but Wednesday’s list included three provinces from the Visayas.
The onset of illness of majority or 87% of Wednesday's additional cases was recorded within the last two weeks, of which, 1,106 are from the NCR, 295 are from Region 4-A, and 130 are from Region 6, where Iloilo and Negros Occidental belong, among others.
The active cases in the country stood at 64,207, as total recoveries climbed by 609 to 158,610, and the death toll, by 27 to 3,623.
Majority of the additional deaths are from the month of August (25 out of 27) with cases spread in NCR (10), Region 4-A (2), Region 6 (4) and others.
The Department of Health removed 42 duplicate cases from the previous count, including 10 tagged as recovered and 1 death.
“There was one (1) case that was previously reported as recovered but has been validated as death,” the DOH said.
Since July, the Philippines has been logging a minimum of 2,000 new COVID-19 cases daily, following the easing of quarantine measures and the gradual opening up of the economy.
From around 2,000 COVID-19 cases in March, the country logged an additional 6,000 cases in April, 9,000 in May, 19,000 in June, 55,000 in July and 128,000 in August, according to the ABS-CBN Data Analytics Team.
A research group from the University of the Philippines estimates that total cases in the country may reach 330,000 to 375,000 by the end of September.
Since the start of the pandemic, almost 25.8 million people have been infected by the COVID-19 virus, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus dashboard. Of those, 857,000 have died and almost 17 million have recovered.