Philippines reports second-highest daily increase in Covid-19 with 14,895 cases

The rise in cases comes as the Philippines' health ministry said on Aug 15, 2021, it detected the first Lambda-variant case. PHOTO: REUTERS

MANILA (REUTERS, PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Philippine health ministry on Thursday (Aug 19) recorded 14,895 new coronavirus cases, the second-highest daily increase in infections since the start of the pandemic.

In a bulletin, it said the total number of confirmed cases was 1.79 million, while deaths have reached 30,881, after 258 fatalities were recorded on Thursday. Active cases rose to a near four-month high at 111,720.

The rise in cases comes as the Philippines' health ministry said on Sunday it had detected the first case of the Lambda variant in the country.

The World Health Organisation classifies Lambda, which was first identified in Peru in December, as a "variant of interest" as laboratory studies showed it has mutations that resist vaccine-induced antibodies.

Additionally, the Delta variant has thus far been detected in all cities in the Manila region, and 70 per cent of all intensive care unit beds in the country were already occupied, the Department of Health said.

Cases continue to surge despite the lockdown imposed in the capital region and other parts of the country.

Octa Research, an independent pandemic monitor, said the growing number of Covid-19 infections could mean that the strict lockdown is not working, or that the Delta variant is more aggressive than expected.

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