MANILA, Philippines (Updated 4:16 p.m.) — The Department of Health recorded 1,885 new coronavirus infections on Christmas day, the highest in a week, pushing the total number of cases to 467,601.
The government has been consistently reminding the public to keep observing health protocols during the holidays as experts saw signs that a surge in cases has begun.
Most of the new infections were reported in Quezon City, where 130 new COVID-19 cases were recorded. Bulacan followed with 122 new infections, then by Davao City (99), Rizal (78) and Leyte (63).
The DOH also recorded seven new fatalities due to COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 9,062.
Meanwhile, 307 more people recovered from the respiratory disease, pushing the total number of survivors to 430,791.
Government officials have been urging the public to mark Christmas in a safer way during the pandemic by avoiding traditional holiday gatherings and instead opting for virtual parties.
President Rodrigo Duterte has also ordered the suspension of flights from the United Kingdom from December 24 to December 31 amid mounting concerns over a new strain of the virus that is said to be more contagious.
The DOH said that although the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine had not detected any new variant of the coronavirus, surveillance of circulating strains will be ramped up. — Xave Gregorio
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