MANILA - The Philippines confirmed 19,271 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing the country’s total to 2,366,749 as the more transmissible Delta variant continued to spread.
The Department of Health also reported 25,037 new recoveries, pushing the total number of Filipinos who recovered from the disease to 2,151,765.
This means that the country has a total of 178,196 active cases as of 4 p.m. Sunday.
Two hundred five new deaths were also reported, bringing the country’s death toll from the disease to 36,788.
An independent research group said the Philippines might have reached the peak of its latest COVID-19 surge as it recorded a weekly negative growth rate for the first time since May.
OCTA Research said the country's virus reproduction rate is at 1.16 percent, and Metro Manila's is 1.18 percent.
OCTA’s estimates and forecasts had been questioned before, with Marikina Rep. Stella Quimbo showing the group’s forecast at one point was off by as much as 79.4 percent.
The country meanwhile struggles to ramp up its vaccine rollout. The government has said that it wants to inoculate over 77.1 million Filipinos by the end of the year.
ABS-CBN News however has been tracking the number of vaccinations since March, and as of Sept. 16, less than 18 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This means that the government has reached just 23 percent of its target after more than 6 months.
Government economic managers lowered the growth target for the second time this year, citing the tighter restrictions reimposed to check the spread of the Delta variant.
Worldwide, the novel coronavirus has infected almost 228 million people and caused 4.69 million deaths since it was first reported in Wuhan, China in late 2019 according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
The United States remains the most badly affected country with over 42 million infections and over 673,000 deaths.
India is the second most badly affected country, with over 33.5 million infections. But in terms of deaths, Brazil has recorded more fatalities than India, with the South American country reporting over 590,000 COVID-19 deaths against India’s 444,000 confirmed fatalities.
The country’s first COVID-19 case was a 38-year-old Chinese woman from Wuhan, China.
The first COVID-19 death outside of China, was also recorded in the Philippines last year.