PH logs 593 new COVID-19 cases; active infections over 5,000

June 23 ------ Active COVID-19 cases in the Philippines breached the 5,000-mark, the Department of Health said as it also reported 593 new infections.

The number of people currently positive for the coronavirus stood at 5,113, the highest, according to ABS-CBN Data Analytics Team head Edson Guido, since May 3. The country's total confirmed cases climbed to 3,697,793. Its first infection was reported on Jan. 30, 2020, involving a Chinese woman who arrived from Wuhan City, China where the disease is believed to have first emerged. Of the additional cases reported during the day, 304 are from Metro Manila, the DOH said. The positivity rate from June 19 to 21 is at 4.6 percent, said Guido. DOH data also showed that the total number of COVID-related deaths in the country has reached 60,484, after eight new deaths were confirmed. Total recoveries, meanwhile, stood at 3,632,196.

From June 13 to 19, the country recorded an average of 436 cases per day, the DOH said in its latest bulletin. The tally was 82 percent higher than infections from June 6 to 12, said the agency. This is the highest number of cases logged in a single week in 13 weeks, or since the week of March 14 to 20 when 3,481 cases were reported, according to the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group. Despite the uptick in cases, the DOH dismissed OCTA Research Group's statement that there was a "weak surge" in infections. Most of the infections were mild to moderate and did not need hospitalization, the DOH said. More than 70 million people in the Philippines have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said June 18.

Metro Manila and dozens of other areas will stay under COVID-19 Alert Level 1 until the end of June, Malacañang said, even as the capital region recorded an uptick in new infections. Under Alert 1, all indoor establishments and public transport may operate at 100 percent capacity, but only for those with full vaccination status. Authorities continue to remind the public to follow minimum health protocols, especially wearing of face masks.