The Philippines recorded over 10,000 new cases last March 29, the highest daily tally yet.
The Department of Health (DOH) recorded 10,016 new cases last March 29, bringing the nationwide tally to 731,894 cases — the second highest in Southeast Asia, after Indonesia.
The latest daily tally is the sixth time in less than two weeks that the Philippines has set a new daily record. The previous highest daily record was at 9,838 cases last March 26.
Government health authorities blame the increase of cases to the emergence of new and more contagious variants of the virus.
Data from DOH also showed that the Philippines has reported 13,186 deaths, also the second highest in the region.
The figures came as the Philippines has returned its capital region and surrounding provinces in its highest level of lockdown for the first time since last May in an attempt to curb further spread of the virus.
Under the enhanced community quarantine, non-essential gatherings outside of homes are prohibited. People are only allowed to leave their homes for essential purposes, such as for groceries or for work.
The figures also came as one million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Sinovac Biotech and fully paid by the government arrived in the country, bringing the total number of vaccine doses to over 2.5 million, which is not enough to inoculate the 1.7 million healthcare workers in the country.
The Philippines still expects over 900,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the COVAX initiative led by the World Health Organization to arrive either at the end of March or in early April.
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