Philippines logs a lowly 665 new Covid-19 cases on Monday (Nov 29); country records less than 1,000 daily cases for six straight days

A woman is inoculated during the first day of a nationwide three-day vaccination drive at a school in Quezon city, Philippines on Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. There has been no reported infection so far caused by the new variant in the Philippines, a South-East Asian pandemic hotspot where COVID-19 cases have considerably dropped to below 1,000 each day in recent days, but the emergence of the Omicron variant has set off a new alarm.- AP

MANILA, Nov. 29 (Xinhua): The Philippines' Department of Health (DOH) reported 665 new Covid-19 infections on Monday, pushing the number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 2,832,375.

The Philippines has recorded less than 1,000 daily cases for six straight days.

The DOH also reported that 141 more people died from Covid-19 complications, bringing the country's death toll to 48,501.

The number of active cases or patients still battling the disease dipped to 16,289.

DOH epidemiology bureau director Alethea De Guzman said the country's COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates continue to decline, adding that all regions are under low to minimal risk.

However, she stressed the need to be vigilant amid the threat of the Omicron variant.

"With the presence of Omicron variant, we need to buy us time to and ready so that we can sustain our gains," she told a virtual press conference.

De Guzman stressed the need to implement "a stronger border surveillance and control."

"We need to enhance our preventive measures and ready our border and local health systems," she added.

The Philippines has barred travelers from 14 countries and regions to keep out the potentially more contagious Omicron variant first identified in southern Africa.

Only Filipinos returning from these countries via government-initiated repatriation program are allowed to enter but subject to strict testing and quarantine measures.

The government is anticipating an increase in arrivals of overseas Filipinos returning to spend the holiday season with families back home.

The government is mulling stricter measures for inbound travelers ahead of the holidays due to the Omicron threat.

Officials also hinted at the possibility of widening the travel ban.

"We need to strengthen the screening, quarantine, and testing at points of entry to prevent and contain the spread of the new coronavirus," De Guzman added. Enditem

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