MANILA, Sept. 24 (Xinhua): The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the Philippines surged to 2,453,328 after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 18,659 new daily cases on Friday.
The total number of deaths from the pandemic in the Southeast Asian country remained at 37,405. "No deaths were reported today due to technical issues," the DOH said.
The Philippines, with a population of 110 million, has tested more than 19 million people since the coronavirus outbreak in January 2020.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Covid-19 testings in Metro Manila, the epicentre of the outbreak, decreased by 10.3 percent this week compared to last week.
"The large decline in reported cases may have been largely affected by the rapid and large decline in RT-PCR laboratory output," Vergeire said in an online briefing.
Vergeire said the DOH is looking into factors that led to the lower test output. "We are assessing whether it reflects a true decline in cases or just affected by other factors," she added.
Vergeire said the average daily caseload in Metro Manila was more than 4,400 from Sept. 17 to 23 compared to more than 5,800 recorded during the period from Sept. 10 to 16. - Xinhua