MANILA, Aug. 23 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 23rd Aug, 2021 ) :The Philippines’ Department of Health (DOH) reported 18,332 new COVID-19 infections on Monday, the biggest single-day spike since the outbreak of the pandemic last year.
The record caseload brought the total number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 1,857,646.
The DOH added that the death toll climbed to 31,961 after 151 more patients died from the viral disease.
The highly infectious Delta coronavirus variant has spread in the communities in Metro Manila and its adjacent regions, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online briefing.
Vergeire said community transmission has been observed in these densely-populated regions “due to large numbers of Delta cases” in these areas with nearly 30 million people.
The DOH still needs more evidence to declare a Delta community transmission in the entire country. “Analysis of the latest sequencing results for the determination of community transmission is ongoing for other regions,” she said.
Indeed, the Delta variant is fast spreading with the detection of an additional 466 such cases in the country. Limited sequencing capacity has detected 1,273 such cases so far.
The country also has 2,322 Alpha variant cases and 2,588 Beta variant cases. Most of the COVID-19 variant cases are locally transmitted.
Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Benjamin Abalos said that the virus transmission rate in Metro Manila slightly slowed after the two-week hard lockdown that ended on Friday.
“But it does not mean that we are out the woods yet. We need to be vigilant,” Abalos told a televised press conference.
Abalos added that only more than 4 million or 43.5 percent of Metro Manila targeted residents have been fully vaccinated.
The Philippines, which has around 110 million population, has tested nearly 17 million people since the outbreak in January 2020.