New COVID Cases Top 11,000 on Second Day of Lockdown

Infections are rising again.
Photo/s: Eloisa Lopez/Reuters

The Philippines recorded 11,021 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday as the lockdown of millions in Metro Manila and some provinces to thwart the hyper-contagious Delta variant entered the second day, authorities said.

The Department of Health also tallied 162 deaths and 1,914 recoveries. The total number of active cases rose to 76,063.

The Philippines is battling one of Asia's biggest COVID-19 outbreaks and has seen a steady rise in infections over the last two weeks which health officials have attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus.

"The national government together with local governments should act aggressively, as if there is already community transmission," Health Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire told a news conferenceon Friday.

"All of the areas in the National Capital Region have positive two week growth rates (in cases)," she added.

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To enforce lockdown orders, police have set up quarantine checkpoints around the Manila capital region, an urban sprawl of 16 cities home to more than 13 million people.

Just 9.8 million people, or nearly 9% of the Philippines' 110 million population, have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Manila officials said they would use the two-week lockdown period to vaccinate four million people in the capital region. The Philippines is aiming to vaccinate up to 70 million people this year.

A total of 450 confirmed cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19 have been detected in the Philippines. Experts believe the true figure could be much higher, however, due to a lack in genome sequencing capacity in the country. 

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