MANILA — The total number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines reached 444,164 on Wednesday after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 1,387 newly-confirmed infections.
This is the 10th straight day that additional COVID-19 cases counted fewer than 2,000. However, it does not include data from 13 laboratories that failed to submit results on time.
Areas with the most number of new cases are Batangas province with 71, Quezon City with 70, Davao del Norte with 64, Benguet with 59, and Quezon province with 57.
The DOH reported 156 additional recovered patients, bringing the total number of recoveries to 408,942, or 92.1% of the total cases in the country.
Seven more COVID-19 patients were added to the death toll, which now stands at 8,677.
Of the 26,545 active cases, 85.2% have mild symptoms, 6.6% are asymptomatic, 5.2% are in critical condition, 2.7% have severe symptoms, and 0.31% have moderate symptoms.
A total of 8 cases — 3 tagged as recovered — were removed from the official tally.
There was also 1 recovered case that turned out to be a fatality.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said there is a continued decline in the general trend of new COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, citing the government's intensified COVID-19 response and the public's compliance with minimum health standards as reasons.
However, he said people should continue to be vigilant since there is a possibility that cases will surge because of activities related to the upcoming holiday season.
Duque asked the public to avoid gatherings, and to ensure physical distancing and wearing of face masks.
The OCTA Research Group earlier estimated that the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines might go up to half a million by the end of the year.
Metro Manila, Batangas province, Iloilo City, Tacloban City, Lanao del Sur, Iligan City, Davao City and Davao del Norte have been placed under general community quarantine until the end of the year to control the spread of the disease.
But Laoag City is under the stricter modified enhanced community quarantine until Dec. 11 as it recorded a spike in cases in multiple areas involving government employees, public market vendors, and an ambulant vendor late last month.
The rest of the country are under modified GCQ, which has the least restrictions among the country's four quarantine classifications.
Since the start of the pandemic, 68.2 million people worldwide have been infected by the COVID-19 virus, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus dashboard. Of those, almost 1.6 million have died and almost 44 million have recovered. Around 22.7 million people are currently infected with COVID-19.