New COVID-19 cases totalling 1,453 have been detected nationwide, the Department of Health reported on Wednesday.
Since January 2020, the number of confirmed cases in the country stood at 492,700, of which 24,478 or five percent are still active or still being treated.
Quezon City reported the highest increase with 95 new infected residents followed by Cavite with 66, City of Manila 54, Davao City 50, and Cebu City with 44.
The death count increased to 9,699 with 146 new fatalities recorded, the DOH said.
“The increase in deaths is due to late reporting of deaths from previous months. Of the deaths today, 36 percent occurred in December and others were months before,” the DOH said.
“We continue to work with our disease reporting units for timely reporting of these events and ensure utmost accuracy of our data,” it added.
Meanwhile, 397 more patients were able to beat the virus, raising the total number of recoveries to 458,523.
In a related development, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that they continue to monitor the new variants of COVID-19 virus, which are so far not yet detected in the Philippines.
Previously, Vergeire said that the DOH is keeping an eye on three variants of COVID-19 virus which were found in the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Malaysia.
“Binabantayan natin lahat ng posibleng maging variant ng COVID-19 at inuumpisahan na natin itong genomic biosurveillance kung saan linggo-linggo na tayo mangongolekta ng mga specimen sa ating mga sektor na vulnerable at identified to be at risk para makita natin kung may nagdedevelop ng variants dito sa ating bansa [We are monitoring all possible variants of COVID-19 and we are starting this genomic biosurveillance —-where every week we will collect specimens in our sectors that are vulnerable and identified to be at risk —-so we can see if anyone is developing these variants here in our country],” she said.
Ang mga variants na ito: nakakapag increase ng transmissibility. Ang dapat gawin ng government paigtingin ang PDITR (Prevent, Detect, Isolate, Treat, and Reintegrate) strategies. I-remind ang ating mga kababayan that minimum health standards— ayun pa rin po ang makakapagsalba sa atin sa sakit na ito [These variants may increase transmissibility. What the government should do is intensify the PDITR strategies. (Also, to) remind our countrymen that minimum health standards — are still the ones that can save us from this disease],” she added.