Philippines: Covid-19 Cases still Rising – 4,899 New Virus Cases as Total Tops 621,000

MANILA, March 14 (Xinhua): The Philippines’ Department of Health (DOH) reported 4,899 new Covid-19 infections on Sunday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 621,498.

The death toll climbed to 12,829 after 63 more patients died from the viral disease, the DOH said. It added 13,371 more patients recovered, raising the total number of recoveries to 560,512.

The Philippines is experiencing a new wave of Covid-19 infections in recent weeks, similar to July-August 2020 when daily cases peaked.

On Sunday, contact tracing czar Benjamin Magalong urged local government units to ramp up contact tracing efforts amid the uptick in cases.

On Saturday (March 13), the DOH reported 5,000 new Covid-19 infections – it was the highest daily tally in nearly seven months, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the South-East Asian country to above 616,000.

Saturday’s tally is the highest daily rise since August 26 last year, when the DOH reported 5,277 cases.

The DOH urged vigilance as coronavirus clusters emerged in select areas in the country, including Metro Manila, in recent weeks, stressing that “correct and consistent adherence to the minimum public health standards will prevent the transmission of these variants.”

The government blamed the spike on people’s failure to comply with personal protective equipment such as wearing masks and face shields properly and keeping a distance when outside their homes. The emergence of the more transmissible variants also “aggravated” the spread of infections, the DOH added.

Metro Manila authorities had imposed two-week lockdowns in several densely-populated communities in the capital with surging clusters of infections and a two-week 10pm to 5am curfew starting on Monday to control mobility.

Metro Manila, home to about 13 million people, is the epicenter of the outbreak. – Xinhua

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