Philippines Covid-19 death toll surges past 27,000 as country reports 6,216 new virus cases; govt to ensure enough oxygen supply

Residents sit at an observation area after receiving their second dose of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in Mandaluyong city, Philippines Friday, July 23, 2021. Philippine officials said a local transmission of the highly contagious delta variant of the Covid-19 virus has been detected in the country and announced Friday tighter quarantine restrictions in the capital and a weeklong ban on the entry of travelers from hard-hit Malaysia and Thailand. - AP

MANILA, July 24 (Xinhua): The Philippines' Department of Health (DOH) reported on Saturday 6,216 new Covid-19 infections, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the South-East Asian country to 1,543,281.

The DOH said the death toll climbed to 27,131 after 241 more patients died from the viral disease.

"The unusually high number of deaths reported today can be attributed to a backlog of cases being updated after the resolution of the system error," the DOH explained, referring to the technical glitch that marred its data reporting system this week.

The DOH reported Saturday that it had detected additional 17 new Delta variant cases, raising the country's tally to 64.

The DOH said nine of the 17 local Delta cases were detected in Metro Manila, while three were in the nearby Calabarzon region. Three of the new cases are active, while 14 were tagged as recovered.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the government has been increasing the capacity of hospitals in case of a Delta variant-driven surge.

Vergeire said that the government has started putting up modular tents in various hospitals across the country and is also working to ensure more than enough oxygen supply in the country.

"We are also increasing the testing so we can detect more and curb the infections," Vergeire added.

The Philippines has widened the travel ban to keep out the Delta variant, barring travelers from Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates until July 31.

The Philippines, which has around 110 million population, has tested more than 15 million people since the outbreak in January 2020. - Xinhua
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