Fri, 03 Feb 2023

MANILA, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines reported 1,874 new COVID-19 infections on Saturday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 4,032,326.

The Department of Health (DOH) said the number of active cases rose to 18,348, while 23 more patients died from COVID-19 complications, taking the death toll to 64,571.

Metro Manila, the capital region with over 13 million people, tallied 536 new cases.

The DOH confirmed the detection of the "highly transmissible and immune-evasive" Omicron BQ.1 variant sub-lineage in the Philippines. BQ.1 is a sub-lineage of BA.5, an Omicron offshoot that the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) said may have contributed to the COVID-19 wave in August.

DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said the country's hospitalization rate remains at low risk despite detecting new COVID-19 variants and subvariants, including the BQ.1. She added that the government is prepared if the healthcare utilization rate increases.

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 73.7 million people.

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