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Philippines logs 5,434 new COVID cases, 26.2% positivity rate

2022 Jan 04, 18:53, Manila

The Philippines' Department of Health (DOH) reported 5,434 new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, pushing the number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 2,861,119.

The DOH also reported that 18 more people died from COVID-19 complications, bringing the country's death toll to 51,604.

The Philippines is grappling with a sharp increase in infections believed to be driven by the fast-spreading Omicron variant, with the positivity rate standing at 26.2 percent.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire projected that cases will peak at the end of this month.

"The assumption would be based on calculations that Omicron is eight times more transmissible than Delta and that the peak will happen by the end of January," she told a television interview, adding "this transmission is within our communities already."

The exponential rise in cases forced the government to reimpose strict quarantine rules in Metro Manila, home to over 13 million people, and nearby areas.

Metro Manila is under alert level three on a scale of five from January 3 to January 15 due to the threat posed by the Omicron variant. Starting Wednesday, the alert level in three adjacent provinces with a sharp increase in infections will also be raised.

Authorities in the capital region have imposed mobility restrictions on unvaccinated people, urging them to stay home. Some government offices closed down to carry out disinfections due to infections.

The DOH reported its highest caseload on Sept. 11, 2021, with 26,303 cases. The Philippines, with around 110 million population, has tested more than 23.5 million people since the pandemic broke out.

Philippines Department of Health pandemic OMICRON Delta variant covid-19 coronavirus infection
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