MANILA, Philippines — Individuals infected with the new coronavirus in the Philippines reached 491,258 with 1,524 more cases reported Tuesday.
Latest data from the Department of Health showed that the number of active cases in the country stands at 23,532 or 4.8% of the total.
The agency also logged 44 additional recoveries, pushing the total number of COVID-19 survivors in the country to 458,172.
The death toll, however, rose to 9,554 after 139 more people succumbed to the coronavirus disease.
The number of additional deaths recorded Tuesday was the highest since October 8, when the DOH logged 144 fatalities.
The DOH reiterated it has yet to detect the new and rapidly transmissible variant of COVID-19 in the Philippines as it urged the public to refrain from sharing unverified information.
It also stressed that strict adherence to minimum public health standards is the best defense against COVID-19, which can lower the rate of infection and reduce the risk of viral mutation.
The threat of the new variant comes as authorities anticipate a surge in COVID-19 infections in the country after the holiday season.
“In the past four days, we are seeing increase in the number of cases compared to our seven-day moving average since the holidays but we have to look at it cautiously... We're trying to get the trends right now and for the coming weeks for us to conclude if there's really a surge,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an interview on CNN Philippines Tuesday.