MANILA: The Philippines topped two million coronavirus cases on Wednesday as the country battles a record surge in infections that the World Health Organization confirmed is being driven by the hyper-contagious Delta strain, reports AFP.
In recent weeks, daily case rates have hit the highest levels since the start of the pandemic and the health department warned the trend could continue.
“It is possible the number of Covid-19 cases will rise some more in the coming days,” the health department said Wednesday. Daily cases exceeded 22,000 for the first time on Monday—more than double the number on August 6 when the sprawling national capital region went back into lockdown.
WHO representative in the Philippines Rabindra Abeyasinghe said Tuesday the latest resurgence was being driven by the Delta variant, which has ripped through neighbouring countries.
“More than 70 percent of the current transmission is attributable to the Delta variant,” Abeyasinghe told reporters, citing the results of genome sequencing.
The lockdown in the capital and nearby provinces has been extended until next week as authorities battle to slow the spread of the virus.
Abeyasinghe said the latest lockdown, accelerating vaccination rate and increased hospital bed capacity had so far prevented “a complete overwhelming” of the country’s healthcare system.
They have been staging protests outside hospitals to demand higher pay, the release of financial benefits and the hiring of more staff.