The Philippines recorded 10,623 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, the first day of the Delta variant lockdown in the capital, the Department of Health said. It was the highest since April, when daily cases breached the 10,000-mark.
Total number of cases is now at 1,638,345 with 74,297 active cases. New recoveries is at 3,127, bringing total to 1,535,375.
There were 247 new deaths for the day, with total deaths up to 28,673.
ECQ is the strictest form of quarantine in a four-step classification system. Metro Manila and other high-risk areas are under ECQ starting until Aug. 20 and was put in place to arrest the spread of the more transmissible Delta variant, which has now been detected in all areas in the capital region.
Experts warned that an explosion in Delta cases could overwhelm the health system if restrictions were not tightened in the crowded capital, which accounts for about a third of the country's economy.
The stay-at-home order announced last week was expanded Thursday to include neighbouring Laguna province. Restrictions were also tightened in other regions where coronavirus infections have spiked.
The Philippines has detected more than 330 Delta cases in recent weeks and there are fears the strain could tear through the nation as it has in neighbouring countries.
Only essential businesses and workers can operate for the next two weeks. Outdoor exercise is allowed, but an eight-hour nighttime curfew is in place.
Successive lockdowns and other restrictions, including a ban on children going outdoors, have shattered the economy and left millions jobless.