MANILA, March 27 (Xinhua) — The Philippines’ Department of Health (DOH) reported on Saturday 9,595 new COVID-19 infections, raising the nationwide count in the Southeast Asian country to 712,442.
The active cases in the country increased to 118,122 and the death toll to 13,159 after 10 more patients died from the viral disease, the DOH said.
The Philippines, which has a population of about 110 million, has tested over nine million people so far.
The number of new infections remains high in the Philippines with the highest daily spike of 9,838 cases reported on Friday.
“The increase is already challenging our healthcare system,” Butch Ong of the OCTA Research Group said in a televised press conference on Saturday.
The independent research group, which analyzes the DOH data, urged the government to impose stricter restrictions for at least two weeks in Metro Manila and adjacent areas to break the transmission chains.
Meanwhile, the emergence of more transmissible coronavirus variants is posing new challenges to contain the infections.
The Philippines has vaccinated over 508,000 out of about 1.7 million health care workers so far. The government aims to inoculate up to 70 million Filipinos this year to achieve herd immunity, starting with health care workers, the elderly, and the poor communities. Enditem