MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health reported that 1,453 more people got infected with COVID-19, pushing the country’s caseload to 492,700 Wednesday.
The latest figures showed that of the total cases, 24,478 or 5% are active.
At least 458,523 individuals have recovered from COVID-19 in the Philippines after the DOH recorded 397 additional recoveries.
Meanwhile, the fatality count hit 9,699 with 146 more patients succumbing to the respiratory illness.
The number of additional deaths recorded Wednesday was the highest since September 14, when the DOH registered record-high 259 fatalities. The day before, 139 COVID-19 fatalities were logged.
The DOH told reporters that the increase in deaths was due to the late reporting of fatalities from the previous months. Of the deaths logged today, 36% happened in December, while others were from the months before.
The OCTA Research Team observed an “upward trend” in COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila following the holiday season, which saw an increase in mobility and social gatherings. It said the reproduction number—or the number of people who may be infected by a confirmed case—in the capital region has increased to 1.17.
The group of experts called on the national government to increase the capacity of healthcare system, boost testing, beef up contact tracing efforts and improve the capabilities of local governments to implement health programs and surveillance in anticipation of a “significant surge” in infections.
The Philippines will sign a deal with British-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca on Thursday for up to 20 additional doses of its coronavirus vaccine, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said.