Philippines records new daily high of coronavirus cases

Manila, Aug. 23, (dpa/GNA) – The Philippines on Monday reported a new daily high of coronavirus cases as authorities urged the public not to be complacent about the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant in the capital region.

The Department of Health said it recorded 18,322 new coronavirus infections on Monday, pushing the country’s total caseload to more than 1.85 million. The death toll rose by 151 to 31,961, it added.
The department said there were "large numbers of Delta cases" in the capital region of Metro Manila and the surrounding provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon.

"Let us avoid complacency, and continue to strictly adhere to our minimum public health standards at all times," the department said.

It added that the use of face masks and face shields, hand hygiene, physical distancing and avoiding crowds are still the "main defence against the spread of any variant of Covid-19."

The government is also stepping up its vaccination drive, and as of August 22, more than 13.1 million Filipinos, or nearly 12 per cent of the country's population, had been vaccinated, the government said.

The country's Food and Drug Administration said on Monday it has approved the emergency use of Russia’s single-dose Sputnik Light vaccine, the ninth anti-Covid-19 jab allowed in the Philippines.

Carlito Galvez, who oversees the government’s vaccine procurement, said the approval would allow the Philippines to follow up its order for 10 million doses from Sputnik. The government is also expecting more deliveries of other vaccines until October, he added.