2,638 new cases, 26 more deaths

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    OVER 2,000 new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases were reported by the Department of Health yesterday, along with 26 more deaths that raised the number of fatalities to 6,675.

    In its latest bulletin, the DOH said of the 2,638 new cases, 141 came from Quezon City while Cavite had 140, Laguna 128, Batangas 120, and Rizal 108.

    Overall, the total number of infections in the country rose to 359,169.

    Majority of the new deaths were recorded in Metro Manila with 6. SOCCSKSARGEN and Zamboanga Peninsula reported 4 and 3, deaths, respectively.

    There were 226 new recoveries, meaning the number of survivors has now reached a total of 310,303.

    In a virtual press briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said they opted to provide a breakdown in NCR cases to better call the attention of local government officials in areas with high number of cases. The NCR has long been the epicenter of COVID-19 in the Philippines.

    “This provides the necessary information to our LGUs so that accountability will be there…

    We want local response to be undertaken immediately,” said Vergeire.

    Three more overseas Filipinos were infected with the virus but there were no new fatalities, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs.

    The number of Filipinos infected with the virus in 81 countries rose to 11,152, with 7,201 having recovered. The number of overseas Filipinos who have succumbed to the virus stood at 812.

    The DFA said Laos and Afghanistan have lifted inbound travel restrictions on Filipino travelers, subject to flight availability and medical protocols.

    Japan, the DFA added, has also “gradually opened up” inbound entry for students, dependents and technical interns but still prohibits entry of short stay travelers, including tourists.

    Mongolia’s borders remained open but inbound travelers are required to present negative COVID-19 test results and must have all applicable documents to support their visa status.

    The DFA said Malaysia, India, Kazakhstan, Krygyz Republic, Nepal, Tajikistan and Hong Kong have imposed stricter visa regulations and medical protocols for those who are exempt from entry restrictions.

    Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said four more employees of the department have recently tested positive for the virus and have been sent to quarantine facilities. He said the DOJ main office on Padre Faura, Manila will remain open unless more of its personnel test positive.

    Close to two months after launching a reward program for barangays in the city with zero COVID cases, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno said more than 170 were able to maintain that record up to yesterday.

    “Of the 896 barangays in Manila, 174 are free of the COVID-19 virus,” Moreno announced Monday.

    Moreno had announced a P100,000 cash reward for barangays with zero COVID cases from September 1 to October 31 as part of overall efforts to encourage communities to curb the spread of the deadly virus. The city government has allocated a total of P89.6 million for the said program.

    As of Monday, Moreno said reports reaching his office from the city health department showed that Manila has 628 active COVID cases, 17,303 had recovered, while 551 had succumbed to the virus. – With Ashzel Hachero