MANILA, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines surged to 272,934 after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 3,550 new daily cases on Wednesday.
The DOH said the number of recoveries also rose to 207,858 after 524 more patients have survived the disease.
The DOH added that 69 more patients have succumbed to the viral disease, bringing the death toll to 4,732.
Metro Manila topped the five regions or provinces with the highest number of daily confirmed cases reported on Wednesday at 1,459, followed by Rizal province, east of Manila, 271; Cavite province, south of Manila, 196; Bulacan province, north of Manila, 172; and Laguna province, south of Manila, 172.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said it is still early to say if there is a downward trend of cases.
"We cannot say yet if the trend is going down because we see the variability across different numbers reported per day," Vergeire said, adding there are days when the number of reported cases is low and days when the number of cases is high.
"We are trying to analyze the recent cases and the growth curve wherein the two-week trend of cases are being compared from the previous two weeks. Based on our analysis (on Tuesday), there are still selected areas in the country where there is an increase in the number of cases or growth," she added.
But Vergeire said the DOH sees a downward trend in the utilization of the critical care component of the health system.
"We also see an improvement of the efficiency of contact tracing and the increase of output of the laboratories," she added.