Wed, 04 Aug 2021

MANILA, June 22 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines' Department of Health (DOH) reported on Tuesday 3,666 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 1,367,894.

The death toll climbed to 23,809 after 60 more patients died from the viral disease, the DOH said.

The lowest daily caseload since May 23 is due to 12 testing laboratories which were not able to submit data, said the DOH.

The Philippines, with a population of 110 million, has tested more than 13 million people since the outbreak of the virus in January 2020.

The government urged Filipinos to remain cautious amid the emergence of the more contagious Delta variant in the country.

A total of 17 cases of Delta, first found in India, were sequenced in the Philippines. The DOH said one is active, while one died.

The Philippines has tightened border control to detect Delta and other coronavirus variants and prevent them from spreading. It barred travelers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates until June 30.

"As long as the rate of transmission is high, the risk of new mutations and variants remains high," Alethea De Guzman of the DOH's Epidemiology Bureau said.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has urged people to continue wearing face masks and face shields to prevent another wave of infections with the Delta variant.

In a meeting on the government's COVID-19 interventions late Monday, Duterte said all safety measures must stay in place to prevent community transmission of the Delta variant, which can cause an additional wave of infections in the country.

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