MANILA, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines reported 2,536 new COVID-19 infections on Thursday, bringing the number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 3,945,566.
The Department of Health (DOH) said the number of active cases rose to 28,172, while 34 more patients died from COVID-19 complications, pushing the country's death toll to 62,916.
Metro Manila, the capital region with over 13 million people, tallied 1,149 new cases.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the infections in Metro Manila and adjacent areas continue to rise while the number of new cases in the rest of the country "plateaus," adding that 13 of the 17 areas in the Philippine capital are showing an uptick in cases.
"Metro Manila is now classified as moderate risk," she told a press conference, adding severe or critical COVID-19 admission in the capital region continued to increase and surpassed the highest reported admission in August.
The DOH said the "high" mobility of people after the government loosened COVID-19 rules and the spread of the highly transmissible coronavirus variants are among the factors driving the infections in the country.
Vergeire warned that the over 3.94 million confirmed COVID-19 cases is maybe much underestimated, adding that many people opt to undergo antigen tests instead of the more expensive RT-PCR test. The DOH figure is based on the RT-PCR test.
The Philippines reported its highest COVID-19 single-day tally of 39,004 new cases on Jan. 15. The country, with a population of around 110 million, has fully vaccinated over 73 million people. ■