Philippines logs 21,261 new Covid-19 cases, death toll tops 36,000

A man walks past a street under a localised lockdown amid rising coronavirus disease (Covid-19) infections, in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, on Thursday (Sept 16, 2021). - Reuters

MANILA, Sept. 16 (Xinhua): The Philippines' Department of Health (DOH) reported 21,261 new Covid-19 infections on Thursday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 2,304,192.

The DOH also reported 277 coronavirus-related deaths, raising the country's death toll to 36,018.

On Saturday, the DOH reported its highest ever daily tally, with 26,303 cases.

The Philippines, which has around 110 million population, has tested over 18.7 million people since the outbreak in January 2020.

Meanwhile, earlier, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that 80 per cent of new cases in Metro Manila and its adjacent areas were detected in communities in recent two weeks.

Based on a set of assumptions, Vergeire said the total number of active cases in Metro Manila could range from 152,000 to 330,000 by the end of September.

Vergeire added that a lower projection is achievable if people will strictly adhere to the minimum public health standards.

Starting Thursday, the Philippines will shift to "a more targeted and recalibrated actions towards high-risk areas, imposing localized or granular lockdowns at the household and community level."

The quarantine strategy from Sept. 16 to 30 veers away from the "wide-scale lockdowns, which heavily impact the economy and affect people's livelihood."

The Philippines has been in varying lockdown levels since mid-March last year.

The government has put Metro Manila, the epicenter, into a hard lockdown three times, curtailing mobility and business activity. - Xinhua

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