The Philippines on Saturday reported 1,302 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the nationwide tally to 3,706,951, based on the Department of Health (DOH)’s latest data.
The country’s active case tally continues to climb, hitting 9,105 on Saturday, up from 8,706 on Friday. This is the highest since April 28, when 9,585 active cases were recorded.
The DOH said the top regions with cases in the past two weeks were the National Capital Region with 5,243, followed by Calabarzon with 1,967, Western Visayas with 912, Central Luzon with 717, and Central Visayas with 525.
The number of recoveries increased to 3,637,268, while the death toll climbed to 60,578.
The latest data also showed 5,343 beds were occupied, while 23,812 were vacant, as the bed occupancy rate in the country stood at 18.3% as of July 1.
A total of 21,273 individuals were tested on Friday, while 316 testing laboratories submitted data.
New DOH chief
According to infectious disease expert Dr. Rontgene Solante, COVID-19 cases could possibly increase in the next few days if people become complacent.
“It can be as high as 5,000 or even 10,000 if we [are not] careful. This has also been the experience of other countries where most of the variants are now the B4, the B5, [and] especially the B5. B5 is the emerging variant,” Solante said in Dano Tingcungco’s “24 Oras Weekend” report on Saturday.
He also said the low number of people who receive booster shots and poor ventilation are some of the factors that can contribute to the spike in COVID-19 infections.
In a statement, the DOH said the agency would continue to implement the current COVID-19 response protocols “until new directives” from President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. “come in.”
However, Solante stressed that a new Health secretary must be appointed soon.
“Somebody should be up there in the DOH to give us a better direction now. And having a vacuum of leadership [any] longer will have an adverse effect on our control [of] this pandemic,” he said. —VBL, GMA News