New infections back to more than 2K
MANILA, Philippines — For the first time this month and exactly a week before Christmas, the number of new coronavirus infections rose to over 2,000.
The Department of Health (DOH) recorded 2,122 new cases on Friday, pushing the national caseload to 456,562.
This is the first time since Nov. 29 that new infections breached the 2,000-mark.
Both the government and the medical community had warned of a post-holiday surge in cases.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire reiterated their appeal to the public to strictly adhere to health protocols, such as the wearing of masks and face shield, observing physical distancing, and frequent handwashing, in view of signs of the potential surge.
“This coming Christmas, let us be extra vigilant. Avoid crowded places, talking loudly, singing. Let us remember that our health and safety should be our priority,” Vergeire said.
Reminder to parishes
She said health authorities would be reminding Catholic Church leaders to follow the measures that prevent the spread of the coronavirus following reports that there were some localities where choir members did not follow the health protocols.
“Whenever we sing, more viral particles are expelled. Choir members are not exempt from [following the guidelines],” she said.
“We will strengthen our coordination with the Catholic Church to enforce the minimum health standards inside churches, especially now that more people go to churches because of the dawn Masses,” she said.
The DOH reported on Friday that 778 patients had recovered, raising the number of survivors of the severe respiratory disease to 420,666. It said 25 patients had died, bringing the death toll to 8,875.
The recoveries and deaths left the country with 27,021 active cases, of which 84 percent are mild, 8 percent asymptomatic, 0.31 percent moderate, 2.5 percent severe and 5.1 percent critical.
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