MANILA, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- The COVID-19 cases in Philippines have surged to 238,727 with 1,383 new cases reported on Monday, the lowest since July 14 when the number of the country's daily infections was record at 634.
This also marks the third consecutive day in which less than 3,000 new cases were reported.
The Philippines' Department of Health (DOH) said that the number of recoveries have surged to 184,906 after it reported 230 more patients had survived the disease.
The DOH added that 15 more patients had died from the disease, bringing the death toll to 3,890.
Metro Manila topped the five regions or provinces with the highest number of daily confirmed cases reported on Monday at 525.
The DOH said it had tested over 2.65 million people so far.
A team of experts from the University of the Philippines (U.P.) said the number of new COVID-19 cases in the Philippines was starting to decrease.
Guido David, a U.P. professor and member of the U.P. OCTA research team, said that in Metro Manila, the epicenter of the outbreak, the transmission or the reproduction rate had dropped to below one at 0.95.
"In (Metro Manila) for the first time, we are having two successive weeks of decline in the number of new cases. That's the first sign. The reproduction number is less than 1 and the positivity rate is going down. It means (the curve) is flattening," he told a television interview on Monday.
However, David urged the people to be vigilant, saying that what the country is experiencing now is just the start of the descent.
"It does not mean that we can relax now because we are still getting more than 1,000 cases per day in Metro Manila," he added, stressing the need to "sustain the trend until we get the number of cases down to a very manageable level," he added.
David said that the goal is to reduce the number of transmissions so that quarantine restrictions can be further relaxed and further open up the economy.
"But until then the fight is not over so we still have to work together," he added. "At least we're now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel."
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a media forum on Monday that the DOH is closely monitoring 1,742 virus clusters in the country, including 1,480 clusters in the communities, 89 in hospitals and healthcare facilities, and 32 in jails.
Indeed, Vergeire said that there are indications that the country's COVID-19 situation is improving.
"We can say that all the strategies that we are implementing are working although it is not immediate. With these indicators, we can see that somehow our situation is improving. But we always say that nothing is certain at this point," she said.
"We continue to do our strategies so that we can further decrease the number of cases and we can further decrease the transmission rate and the other indicators," she added. Enditem