The Philippines reported 17,447 coronavirus infections on Friday — the second-highest daily tally since the pandemic started last year — amid a fresh surge spurred by a more contagious Delta variant, according to the Department of Health (DoH).
This brought the total to 1.91 million, while deaths rose to 32,841 after 113 more patients died, it said in a bulletin. Recoveries increased by 6,771 to 1.74 million, it added.
The percentage of people who tested positive for the virus had also risen to a record 26.1%.
There were 142,531 active cases, 96.2% of which were mild, 1.1% did not show symptoms, 1.1% were severe, 0.96% were moderate and 0.6% were critical.
DoH said 186 duplicates had been removed from the tally, 186 of which were tagged as recoveries, while 47 recoveries were reclassified as deaths. One laboratory failed to submit data on Aug. 25.
The agency on Thursday said infections were likely to rise in the coming weeks despite a two-week strict lockdown imposed in the capital region that ended on Aug. 20.
Meanwhile, the University of the Philippines-Philippine Genome Center will expand operations in the Visayas and Mindanao after it was given P295.7 million this year to strengthen the country’s monitoring of infectious diseases.
“Our regional offices are having a hard time sending samples here in Manila due to challenges in logistics,” Health spokesperson Maria Rosario C. Singh-Vergeire told an online news briefing.
“By strengthening the country’s biosurveillance capacity, we hope to prevent future outbreaks of diseases in the Philippines,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said in a separate statement. — Bianca Angelica D. Añago