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    Philippines logs 22,958 new COVID-19 cases, death toll breaches 53,000

    MANILA (XINHUA) – The Philippines reported 22,958 new COVID-19 infections yesterday, raising the number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 3,293,625.

    The Department of Health (DOH) said the number of active cases or patients sick of the disease dipped to 270,728 from Tuesday’s 284,458. The country’s positivity rate slightly rose to 43.5 per cent, from 43.4 per cent the previous day.

    The DOH reported the highest single-day tally on Saturday with 39,004 new cases.

    According to the DOH, 82 more people died from COVID-19 complications, pushing the country’s death toll to 53,044, with six laboratories failing to submit data. Of the 82 deaths, 56 died this month while the rest died in previous months.

    The Philippines continues to detect more Omicron and Delta variants in communities and returning overseas Filipinos.

    The DOH confirmed 492 more Omicron cases and 115 Delta cases in the latest batch of 714 samples sequenced on January 13-14, indicating that the Omicron is infecting more people. At least two Omicron-infected patients have died.

    The government has put in place new measures to curb the spread of the deadly virus and keep the hospitalisation rate low.

    To mitigate the risks of the Omicron variant, the DOH shortened the intervals for booster shots, childhood vaccination and quarantine periods for fully vaccinated health care workers without symptoms, as well as targetted testing.

    “The public is strongly encouraged to comply to ensure the safety and protection of the entire community,” the DOH said.

    The government urges the public, particularly the senior citizens with underlying health conditions and children, to complete their primary and booster shots.

    The Philippines has fully vaccinated over 56 million people since the rollout in March
    last year.

    The Philippines, with a population of around 110 million, has tested over 24 million people since the outbreak. The number excludes the rapid antigen tests results.

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