A woman looks at a protective goggle at a market in Manila, the Philippines on Aug. 11, 2020. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines surged to 139,538 after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 2,987 new daily cases on Tuesday. (Xinhua/Rouelle Umali)
MANILA, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines surged to 139,538 after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 2,987 new daily cases on Tuesday.
The DOH said the number of recoveries further rose to 68,432 after it reported 280 more patients have survived the disease.
The death toll also increased to 2,312 after 19 more patients have succumbed to the viral disease, the DOH added.
Metro Manila topped the five regions or provinces with the highest number of daily confirmed coronavirus cases reported on Tuesday with 1,510, followed by Cavite province, south of Manila, 398; Laguna province, south of Manila, 144; Iloilo province in the central Philippines, 135; and Cebu province, also in the central Philippines, 119.
Due to COVID-19 community transmission, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the government will continue to ramp up testing, including those mild and asymptomatic people, so that they can be isolated from the rest of the community.
"There is community transmission. That is why we continue to increase our testing capacity so we can isolate those who tested positive and stop the spread of the disease," Roque said in a televised media briefing in southern Philippine Davao City on Tuesday.
Asked about the possibility of extending the two-week strict lockdown measures that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte reimposed on Aug. 4 in Metro Manila and outlying provinces of Laguna, Cavite, Rizal and Bulacan, Roque said, "Anything is possible but highly unlikely."
The lockdown ends on Aug. 18.
Roque said the Duterte administration is "working darn hard" to beat COVID-19, adding that the government is not sleeping on the job.
The Philippines reported its highest daily number of COVID-19 cases on Monday, with nearly 7,000 new cases.
In an order issued late on Monday night, Duterte tasked the Philippine National Police (PNP) to assist the government's contact tracing efforts to stop the spread of the virus.
Duterte held coronavirus meetings with some members of his Cabinet in Davao City, the hometown of the Philippine leader.
The Philippines imposed in mid-March strict lockdown measures to contain the spread of COVID-19. But despite the nearly five-month lockdown, the Philippines continues to grapple with surging infections especially after the restrictions were eased in June.
According to DOH, the country's 101 COVID-19 laboratories have tested a total of 1.7 million people so far.
The country has a positivity rate, or the percentage of people who test positive for COVID-19 out of the total number of persons tested, of 9.90 percent, the DOH added.
The DOH said the reproduction number, or the average of new infections generated by each COVID-19 case, as of July 21 is 1.239, meaning that one person can infect 1.239 more.
Latest DOH data showed that the country's case fatality rate is 1.68 percent of the total cases.