MANILA, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- The Department of Health (DOH) of the Philippines on Wednesday reported 1,156 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection, bringing the total number in the country to 452,988.
The DOH said 425 more patients recovered, raising the total number of recoveries to 419,282. The death toll climbed to 8,833 after 21 more patients died from the viral disease, the DOH added.
The capital Manila is seeing an increase in the number of COVID-19 transmissions, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said, noting that rising infections in 12 out of the 16 Metro Manila cities.
"We recognize that the beginning of the (holiday) surge in Metro Manila is already evident. We can see it now," Duque told a virtual media briefing on Wednesday.
"There are eight cities in Metro Manila that have registered a positive two-week growth rate, (plus an) additional four cities with (more than 1 reproduction rate). Altogether, we have 12 cities with r-naught or reproduction rate greater than 1," Duque added.
The authorities have been urging the public to be vigilant and strictly comply with health protocols as they celebrate the Christmas and New Year holidays, warning of a possible surge in cases.
Metro Manila, the epicenter of the outbreak, consistently records the highest number of COVID-19 cases since the disease emerged in the country in January.
The National Capital Region or Metro Manila, located on the main Luzon island, is home to an estimated 13 million people. However, the population swells to about 15 million during weekdays due to the influx of workers and students from adjacent provinces. Enditem