Philippines logs 1,135 new COVID-19 cases

MANILA (XINHUA) – The Department of Health (DoH) of the Philippines yesterday reported 1,135 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection, bringing the total number in the country to 451,839.

The DoH said 173 more patients recovered, raising the total number of recoveries to 418,867. The death toll climbed to 8,812 after 56 more patients died from the viral disease, the DoH added.

The DoH said it had tested over 5.89 million people so far since the disease emerged in the country in January. The Philippines has a population of about 110 million.

To “effectively lessen” the coronavirus transmission during the holiday season, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said people are required to wear a full face shield over a face mask “whenever they go out of their residences”.

Roque said the new policy requires a full face shield that covers the eyes and the mouth. Goggles or anything shorter that covers only the eyes is not allowed, he added.

“It is additional protection to avoid a surge. It will not be required if it is not good for our health,” Roque told a virtual news conference yesterday.

Previously, the government required the wearing of face shields only when riding public transportation and entering enclosed areas such as malls.

The government imposed a stricter policy on face-covering due to concerns of a possible spike in cases during the holiday season.

The government had earlier urged Filipinos to avoid crowds, travel, and merrymaking during the holiday season to curb the infection.