Philippines: A country troubled by virus; 4,284 new Covid-19 cases as total goes above 217,000

Two men rest under the shade from the hot weather while queueing for cash subsidy from the government amid the coronavirus outbreak, in Batasan Hills, Quezon City, Metro Manila. The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the Philippines surged to 217,396 after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 4,284 new daily cases on Sunday. - Reuters

MANILA, Aug 30 (Xinhua): The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the Philippines surged to 217,396 after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 4,284 new daily cases on Sunday.

The DOH said that the number of recoveries surged to 157,403 after it reported 22,319 more patients have survived the disease.

The death toll also rose to 3,520 after 102 more patients have succumbed to the viral disease, the DOH added.

It is the fifth consecutive day that daily casualties from the coronavirus disease in the South-East Asian country have surpassed 90.

Metro Manila topped the five regions or provinces with the highest number of daily confirmed cases reported on Sunday with 2,207.

The top case were then followed by Laguna province, south of Manila, with 327 new cases; Cavite province, south of Manila, 191; Batangas province, south of Manila, 161; and Rizal province, east of Manila, 147.

Meanwhile on Saturday (Aug 29), three people were killed, including a soldier, and seven other soldiers wounded when government forces clashed on Saturday morning with some 30 Abu Sayyaf fighters in the jungles of Sulu province in the southern philippines, the military said.

Brigadier General William Gonzales, the joint task force Sulu commander, said the 30-minute clash broke out around 9:45 a.m. local time in a village near Patikul town and left two terrorists and a soldier dead.

He said the troops also recovered two high-powered firearms from the fleeing terrorists.

Gonzales said troops were pursuing the group that carried out the Aug 24 twin suicide bombing attacks in Jolo, the capital of Sulu that killed 15 people and wounded 74 others. Soldiers and policemen were among the casualties.

Jolo has long been a base for the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group.

On Jan 27, 2019, two bombs also rocked a cathedral in Jolo that left 23 people killed and 95 others injured.

The Abu Sayyaf Group is a loose band of violent extremist groups in the southern philippines. The group, with an estimated 400 members, is active in the impoverished island provinces of Sulu and Basilan.

The group, which has been sowing terror in the southern philippines since the 1990s, is responsible for the series of kidnappings, deadly bombings, ambushes of security personnel, public beheadings, assassinations, and extortion in the Mindanao region. - Xinhua
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