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Philippines records highest number of COVID-19 infections as Omicron runs rampant

THE STRAITS TIMES – The Philippines has tallied its highest number of COVID-19 infections since the start of the pandemic, just two weeks after recording fewer than 200 cases a day.

The Health Ministry reported 26,458 cases yesterday as the extremely infectious Omicron variant rages throughout the country.

That topped the previous high of 26,303, recorded on September 11 last year during the peak of a deadly surge caused by the Delta variant.

The number of active cases, meanwhile, has soared to 102,017. The last time the number was this high was on October 9 last year, when the country had over 106,000 active cases.

The government has already placed Metro Manila and dozens of other cities and provinces on the third-highest level of alert till January 15.

Restaurants, amusement parks, tourist attractions, beauty salons and fitness studios are now operating at lower capacity.

In-person classes, contact sports, funfairs and casinos have been suspended, while localised lockdowns targeting specific buildings, streets and neighbourhoods would also be enforced.

Health workers check identification documents of people queueing up for coronavirus swab tests outside a gymnasium in Manila. PHOTO: AFP
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