MANILA — The Philippines on Tuesday reported 18,012 new COVID-19 infections, the lowest in 5 days, as government downgraded quarantine restrictions in hotspot Metro Manila even as the country grappled with another wave of infections driven by the more contagious Delta variant.
The day's fresh cases pushed the total novel coronavirus cases in the country to 2,121,308, with active cases reaching 158,637, the latest Department of Health (DOH) bulletin showed.
New infections are historically relatively low every Tuesday due to a fewer number of laboratories conducting operations over the weekend.
Despite this, however, the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group said Tuesday's new tally is the 9th highest since the pandemic started.
The DOH, meanwhile, said cases would continue to rise in the coming days. The agency confirmed a new record high of daily cases on Monday with 22,415 infections.
"Sa mga susunod na araw ay maari pang tumaas ang ating mga kaso ng COVID-19. Ang pagsunod sa minimum public health standards, maiging pagsasagawa ng PDITR strategies, at pagbabakuna ay nanatiling pinakamabisang depensa sa COVID-19," the DOH said in its bulletin.
(Cases can continue rising in the coming days. Following health protocols and being vaccinated against COVID-19 are the best defenses against the virus)
The positivity rate is at 28.1 percent, based on the samples collected from 57,180 people on Sunday. This means nearly 3 in 10 people tested for the virus had positive results.
A total of 161 more patients died due to the respiratory disease, raising the total fatalities to 34,498.
There were also 18,945 additional recoveries, pushing the total recuperations in the country to 1,928,173 or 90.9 percent of the running tally.
A total of 13 laboratories failed to submit data on time.
Government has just announced new quarantine classifications to take effect from Sept. 8 to 30, with Metro Manila under general community quarantine, the second lowest restriction level, from the stricter modified enhanced community quarantine.
It said granular lockdowns will, instead, be enforced in the capital region to allow greater economic activity.
More details to follow.